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Full text of "A diplomat's wife in Mexico : letters from the American embassy at Mexico City, covering the dramatic period between October 8th, 1913, and the breaking off of diplomatic relations on April 23rd, 1914, together with an account of the occupation of Vera Cruz"

A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE 
IN MEXICO 



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MRS. NELSON O SHAUGHNESSY 



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OS2'5ei 

A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE 
IN MEXICO 



BY 

EDITH O'SHAUGHNESSY 

[MRS. NELSON 0*SHAUGHNESSY] 

Letters from the American Embassy at Mexico 
City, covering the dramatic period between 
October 8th, IQ13, and the breaking off of dip- 
lomatic relations on April 23rd, IQ14, together 
with an account of the occupation of Vera Cruz 

ILLUSTRATED 




HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS 

NEW YORK AND LONDON 




A Diplomat's Wife in Mexico 



Copyright, 1916, by Harper & Brothers 

Printed in the United States of America 

Published June, 1916 



CONTENTS 

Foreword ix 



Arrival at Vera Cruz — Mr. Lind — Visits to the battle -ships — We 
reach Mexico City — Huerta's second coup d'itat — A six -hour 
Reception at the Chinese Legation. An all-afternoon hunt for the 
Dictator Page i 

II 

Sanctuary to Bonilla — Sir Lionel and Lady Garden — Carranza — Mexican 

servants — First Reception at the American Embassy — Huerta receives 

the Diplomatic Corps — Election Day and a few surprises. Page 14 

III 

Federal and Rebel excesses in the north — Some aspects of social life — 
Mexico's inner circle — Huerta's growing difficulties — Rabago — The 
"Feast of the Dead." — Indian booths at the Alameda — The Latin- 
American's future Page 28 

IV 

The "Abrazo" — Arrival of Mr. Lind — Delicate negotiations in prog- 
ress — Luncheon at the German Legation — Excitement about the 
bull -fight — Junk -hunting — Americans in prison — Another "big 
game" hunt Page 40 



Uncertain days — The friendly offices of diplomats — A side-light on ex- 
ecutions — Mexican street cries — Garza Aldape resigns — First official 
Reception at Chapultepec Castle — The jewels of Cort6s . Page 50 



CONTENTS 



VI 

''Decisive word" from Washington — ^A passing scare — Conscription's 
terrors — Thanksgiving — The rebel advance — Sir Christopher Cradock 
— Huerta's hospitable waste-paper basket Page 66 

VII 

Huerta visits the Jockey Club — Chihuahua falls — "The tragic ten days" 
— Exhibition of gunnery in the public streets — Mexico's "potential 
Presidents"— "The Tiger of the North." Page 77 

VIII 

The sad exodus from Chihuahua — Archbishop Mendoza — Fiat money — 
Villa's growing activities — Indian stoicism — Another Chapultepec Re- 
ception — A day of "Mexican Magic" in the country . . Page 92 

IX 

Christmas — The strangling of a country — de la Barra — The "manana 
game " — Spanish in five phrases — Senora Huerta's great diamond — The 
peon's desperate situation in a land torn by revolutions . Page 1 10 

X 

New-Year's receptions — Churubusco — Memories of Carlota — Rape of the 
Morelos women — Mexico's excuse for the murder of an American cit- 
izen — ^A visit to the floating gardens of Xochimilco . . Page 120 

XI 

Dramatic values at Vera Cruz — Visits to the battle-ships — Our superb 
hospital-ship, the Solace — Admiral Cradock's flag -ship — An American 
sailor's menu — Three "square meals" a day — Travel in revolutionary 
Mexico Page 132 

XII 

Ojinaga evacuated — Tepozotlan's beautiful old church and convent 
— Azcapotzalco — A Mexican christening — The release of Vera 
Estaiiol — Necaxa — The friars — The wonderful Garcia Pimentel 
library Page 148 



CONTENTS 



XIII 

Gamboa — F^tes for the Japanese officers — The Pius Fund — The 
Toluca road — Brown, of the National Railways — President Wilson 
raises the embargo on arms and ammunition — Hunting for 
Zapatistas Page 167 

XIV 

A "neat little haul" for brigands — Tea at San Angel — A picnic and a 
burning village — The lesson of "Two Fools" — Austria-Hungary's new 
minister — Cigarettes in the making — Zapata's message . Page 181 

XV 

Departure of the British minister — Guns and marines from Vera Cruz — 
Review at the Condesa — Mister Lind — The Benton case — Huerta 
predicts intervention — Villa at Chihuahua Page 189 

XVI 

Huerta's impressive review for the special correspondents — The Grito de 
Dolores — Tons of "stationery " for the Embassy — Villa and Carranza 
disagree — The Embassy guard finds itself occupied . . Page 203 

XVII 

The torture of Terrazas — Mexico's banking eccentricities — Departure 
of the Lefaivres — Zapatista methods — Gustavo Madero's death — 
First experience of Latin- American revolutions — Huerta's witty 
speech Page 211 

XVIII 

Back to Vera Cruz — Luncheon on the Chester — San Juan's prison horrors 
— Tea on the Mayflower — The ministry of war and the commissary 
methods — Torreon falls again? — Don Eduardo Iturbide . Page 229 

XIX 

Congress meets without the United States representative — Huerta 
makes his "profession of faith" — Exit Mr. Lind — Ryan leaves for 
the front — French and German military attaches — The Jockey 
Club Page 247 



CONTENTS 



XX 

Good Friday — Mexican toys with symbolic sounds — "The Tampico 
incident" — Sabado de Gloria and Easter — An international photo- 
graph — The last reception at Chapul tepee Page 257 

XXI 

Mr. Bryan declines the kindly offices of The Hague — More Americans 
leave Mexico City — Lieutenant Rowan arrives — Guarding the Em- 
bassy — Elim keeps within call Page 272 

XXII 

Vera Cruz taken — Anti-American demonstrations — Refugees at the Em- 
bassy — A long line of visitors — A dramatic incident in the cable-office — 
Huerta makes his first and last call at the Embassy . . Page 285 

XXIII 

The wedding of President Huerta's son — Departure from the Embassy — 
Huerta's royal accommodations — The journey down to Vera Cruz — 
The white flag of truce — ^We reach the American lines . Page 298 

XXIV 

Dinner on the Essex — The last fight of Mexico's naval cadets — American 
heroes — End of the Tampico incident — Relief for the starving at San 
Juan Ulua — ^Admiral Fletcher's greatest work .... Page 318 

XXV 

Our recall from Mexican soil — A historic dinner with General 
Funston — The navy turns over the town of Vera Cruz to the 
army — The march of the six thousand blue-jackets — Evening on 
the Minnesota Page 338 

XXVI 

Homeward bound — Dead to the world in Sarah Bemhardt's luxurious 
cabin — Admiral Badger's farewell — "The Father of Waters" — Mr. 
Bryan's earnest message — Arrival at Washington — Adelante! 

Page 348 



onlispiec* 
f 6 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Mrs. Nelson O'Shaughnessy j 

A View of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl .... Fad 

Mrs. Elliott Coues " i6 

Elim " i6 

V. HuERTA " 60 

Villa de Guadalupe " 86 

The Floating Gardens of Xochimilco " 126 

Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock " 136 

Admiral F. F. Fletcher ** 136 

Huerta's Soldiers Watching the Rebel Advance . . " 150 

A Group of Ojinaga Refugees " 150 

The Guard that Stopped Us " 172 

"The Woman in White" — from San Juan PIill ... " 182 

The "Diggings" (Azcapotzalco) " 206 

The Pyramid of San Juan Teotihuacan ** 206 

The Siesta ** 258 



FOREWORD 

Though the events recorded in these letters are known 
to all the world, they may, perhaps, take on another sig- 
nificance seen through the eyes of one who has loved 
Mexico for her beauty and wept for the disasters that 
have overtaken her. 

The time has not yet come for a full history of the 
events leading to the breaking off of diplomatic rela- 
tions, but after much pondering I have decided to pub- 
lish these letters. They were written to my mother, 
day by day, after a habit of long years, to console both 
her and me for separation, and without any thought of 
publication. In spite of necessary omissions they may 
throw some light on the difficulties of the Mexican situ- 
ation, which we have made our own, and which every 
American wishes to see solved in a way that will testify 
to the persistence of those qualities that made us great. 

Victoriano Huerta, the central figure of these letters, 
is dead, and many with him; but the tragedy of the 
nation still goes on. So above all thought of party or 
personal expediency, and because of vital issues yet to 
be decided, I offer this simple chronicle. The Mexican 
book is still open, the pages just ttuned are crumpled 
and ensanguined. New and momentous chapters for 
us and for Mexico are being written and I should be 
forever regretful had courage failed me to write my little 
share. 

It is two years ago to-day that diplomatic relations 



FOREWORD 

were broken off between the two republics. It is more 
than two years since the Constitutionalists under Villa 
and Carranza have had our full moral and material 
support. The results have been a punitive expedition 
sent into Mexico to capture Villa, and very uncertain 
and unsatisfactory relations with the hostile de facto 
government imder Carranza. As for beautiful Mexico — 
her industries are dead, her lands laid waste, her sons 
and daughters are in exile, or starving in the "treasure- 
house of the world." What I here give forth — and the 
giving is not easy — I offer only with a trembling hope 
of service. 

Edith Coues O'Shaughnessy. 

The Plaza, 

New York, April 23, 1916. 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN 
MEXICO 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN 
MEXICO 



Arrival at Vera Cruz — Mr. Lind — ^Visits to the battle-ships — ^We reach 
Mexico City — Huerta's second coup d'etat — A six-hour Reception at 
the Chinese Legation. An all-afternoon hunt for the Dictator. 

Mexico City, October 8, igij. 

PRECIOUS Mother,— You will have seen by the 
cable flashes in your Paris Herald that Elim and 
I arrived at Vera Cruz yesterday, safe and sound, and 
departed the same evening for the heights in the presiden- 
tial car, put at N.'s disposal the night before, for the trip 
from Mexico City and back. 

It was a long day. Everybody was up at dawn, walk- 
ing about the deck or hanging over the sides of the ship, 
all a bit restless at the thought of the Mexican uncer- 
tainties which we were so soon to share. About six 
o'clock we began to distinguish the spires of Vera Cruz 
— the peak of Orizaba, rivaling the loveliest pictures of 
Fujiyama, showing its opal head above a bank of dark, 
sultry clouds. A hot, gray sea was breaking over the 
reefs at the mouth of the harbor, and the same lonely 
palms stood on the Isla de los Sacrificios. As we passed 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

between the two gray battle-ships just outside the har- 
bor, I could not help a little shudder at the note of warn- 
ing they struck. The dock was crowded with the well- 
remembered, picturesque, white-clad Indians, with high- 
peaked hats, who suggested immediately the changeless 
mystery of Mexico. 

Fortunately, the weather being overcast, the intense 
heat was a little modified, though it was no day to set 
off looks or clothes; every one's face and garments were 
gray and limp. N. arrived just as we were getting up 
to the docks, his train having been late. His face was 
the last we discovered among various officials coming and 
going during the irksome pulling in of the Espagne, 
As you know, we had been separated for eight months. 
I was the first passenger to leave the ship, and as we 
had no customs formalities we passed quickly through 
the damp, boiler-like shed where the little tricks of the 
aduana (the customs) were about to be performed 
on hot and excited voyagers. Then we got into a rickety 
cab, its back flap flying to the breeze, and drove across 
the sandy, scrubby stretch to the Hotel Terminus, 
where the Linds are living. The fascinating little pink 
houses with their coquettish green balconies were as of 
yore, but the tropical glint and glitter seemed gone from 
everything under the hot, gray sky. 

The Hotel Terminus is the same old horror of flies, 
fleas, and general shiftlessness, though the broad, high 
corridor up-stairs, giving on to the sleeping-rooms, was 
fairly clean. We were finally shown into a large room, 
where Mrs. Lind was waiting. After our greetings I 
sank into a rocking-chair, and a big electric fan, in con- 
junction with the breeze from the window looking tow- 
ard the sea, somewhat restored my energy. 

In a few minutes Mr. Lind appeared, in shirt-sleeves 
and a panama fan. (I suppose he wore other articles, 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

but these are what I remember.) I was greatly struck 
by him. He is evidently a man of many natural abilities 
and much magnetism — tall, gaunt, sandy-haired, tm- 
mistakably Scandinavian, with the blue, blue eyes of the 
Norsemen set under level brows. I imagine fire behind 
that northern fagade. The conversation opened with 
conciliatory and smiling remarks, after the manner of 
experts in any situation, meeting for the first time. I 
found him very agreeable. There was even something 
Lincolnesque in his look and bearing, but his entry on 
the Mexican stage was certainly abrupt, and the setting 
completely unfamiliar, so some very natural barking of 
the shins has been the result. Looking at him, I couldn't 
help thinking of "the pouring of new wine into old 
bottles " and all the rest of the scriptural text. 

The Linds, who have a handsome house in Minneapo- 
lis and another "on the lake," are accepting things as 
they find them, with an air of "all for the good of the 
United States and the chastising of Mexico." But all the 
same, it is a hardship to inhabit the Terminus and then 
to tramp three times a day through the broiling streets 
to another hotel for very questionable food. 

The Hotel Diligencias, where we lunched, is deeper 
in the town, has fewer flies, is a little cleaner, and is very 
much hotter. Once away from the sea breeze you might 
as well be in Hades as in Vera Cruz on a day like yes- 
terday. The Diligencias is the hotel whereon De Cham- 
brun hangs the famous story of his wife's maid going 
back for something that had been forgotten, and finding 
that the servants had whisked the sheets off the beds 
and were ironing them out on the floor for the next com- 
ers — sans autre forme de proems! We had a pleasant 
lunch, with the familiar menu of Huachinango, polio 
y arroZj alligator pears and tepid ice - cream, con- 
sumed to the accompaniment of suppositions regarding 

3 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Mexican politics. Then we plunged into the deserted, 
burning street (all decent folk were at the business of the 
siesta) and back to the Hotel Terminus, feeling much the 
worse for wear. 

At four o'clock Lieutenant Courts came to conduct 
us to the flagship Louisiana, and we asked Hohler, the 
British charge who was in Vera Cruz awaiting the ar- 
rival of Sir Lionel and Lady Carden, to go with us. 
Admiral Fletcher and his officers were waiting for Nelson 
at the gangway and the band was playing the beloved 
air as we went up. We were there about an hour, which 
seemed all too short, sitting on the spotless deck, where 
a delightful breeze was blowing. The time passed in 
eager conversation about the situation with Admiral 
Fletcher, a charming and clever man, with dark, earnest 
eyes and serious, intent expression, all set off by the 
most immaculate white attire. Champagne was poured, 
healths were drunk, and Elim was taken over the ship, 
departing with one of the junior officers, after a glance 
at me betokening the magnitude of the adventure. 
We left, after warm handshakings and good wishes, N. 
receiving his eleven salutes as we went away. The tears 
came to my eyes. * * Oh, land of mine !' ' I thought. * * Oh, 
brotherhood!" But Elim asked, in a frightened tone, 
**Why are they shooting at papa?" 

We then went over to the New Hampshire to call on 
Captain Oliver. More health-drinking and stirring of 
friendly feelings. Pictures of the Holy Father and prel- 
ates I have known gave a familiar note to Captain Oli- 
ver's quarters. Then, in the wondrous tropical dusk, the 
little launch steamed quickly back to town, where we 
had just time to gather up our belongings and maid at 
the Terminus and descend to the station beneath. Mr. 
Lind stood waving farewell as we steamed out, and I 
must say I am quite taken by him ! 

4 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Our train, preceded by a military train, was most 
luxurious. None of "the comforts of home" was lack- 
ing, from the full American bill of fare to the white- 
coated colored porters — all at poor, bankrupt Huerta's 
expense. It made me eat abstemiously and sit lightly! 

We had a quiet night, rising swiftly up those enchant- 
ing slopes, a warm, perfumed, exotic air coming in at 
the window. At dawn, with a catching of the breath, 
I looked out and saw once again those two matchless, 
rose-colored peaks — Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, look- 
ing tranquilly down on the beauteous plateau, indifferent 
to man's disorders. 

At Mexico City Captain Bumside and the Embassy 
staff were at the station to meet us, and in a moment 
I found myself once again driving through the familiar, 
vivid streets, the changeless, silent Indians coming and 
going about their simple affairs. The Embassy is a 
huge house — a gray-stone, battlemented, castle-on-the- 
Rhine effect — which^ fortunately, had been put on a 
possible living basis for the Linds by a kindly adminis- 
tration. It's an ill wind that blows nobody good. 
The Linds were here only ten days, and I think it very 
improbable that they will ever return. He is a man of 
good sense, and there is, as in most establishments, 
room for many men but only for one mattresse de 
maison. 

Now I must be up and doing. I want to pull the fur- 
niture about, down-stairs, and make myself a setting of 
some sort. There are several packing-boxes containing 
the accumulation of our first Mexican bout — ^books, 
vases, cushions, and the like. Fortunately, the comfort- 
able green leather library set of Mr. Henry Lane Wilson, 
together with handsome rugs and bookcases, were also 
bought for the "confidential agent"; and I shall use 
them in my drawing-room, instead of a rather uncom- 

2 S 



A DIPLOMATrS WIFE IN MEXICO 

fortable French set upholstered in pink. The bed- 
rooms are already fully and handsomely furnished with 
the Wilsons' things. 

Dear Mme. Lefaivre came last night, and we had 
lunch at the Legation to-day. Such an affectionate 
welcome from her warmest of hearts! Many persons 
have called and cards and flowers were coming in all 
day. 

P. 5. Yesterday, Torreon fell into the hands of the 
rebels, and many atrocities were committed against 
Spanish subjects. The Spanish minister is in a great 
state of excitement. This is a severe blow to Huerta. 
He is supposed to suppress the revolution. If he doesn't, 
he loses his raison d'itre — perhaps, also, his head. 

October nth. 

Last night Huerta accomplished his second coup d'etat; 
he is getting very skilful. He surrounded the Chamber 
of Deputies while the honorable gentlemen were in ses- 
sion, conspiring against their constitution. He had them 
arrested as they came out into the hall, and I understand 
there was quite a stampede from the Chamber itself 
when they got wind of the fact that something was 
wrong. He accuses them of obstructing his policy of 
pacification by every low and unpatriotic means at their 
command, and these are numerous. 

Now one hundred and ten of them are lodged in the 
famous Penitenciariay whither Madero was going on his 
last journey. N. was out until two o'clock in the morn- 
ing, with the Spanish minister (dean of the diplomatic 
corps), going first to the Foreign Office to try to obtain 
guarantees for the lives of the imprisoned deputies, and 
afterward to the Penitenciaria, where they were shown 
a list of eighty-foi^, and given assurances that they would 
not suffer. It looked a bit black for the remaining 

6 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

twenty-six. The clerks spent the rest of the night here, 
getting the despatches off to Washington. 

Huerta appears to care very Httle whom he shoots. 
He has small sentiment about human life (his own, or 
anybody's else), but he is a strong and astute man; and 
if he could get a few white blackbirds, in the shape of 
patriots, to work with him, and if the United States were 
not on his back, he might eventually bring peace to his 
country. 

I am not yet reaccustomed to the extreme beauty of 
the Mexican morning; a dazzling, many-colored light 
that would dim the spectrum is filtering into my room, 
as I write, glorifying every object and comer. I have 
had the covers taken off the pink furniture; a rose- 
colored coverlet and cushions are on my chaise-longue ^ 
and the glow is indescribable. 

You will have seen that the Chambers are convened 
for the fifteenth of November, but in spite of prepara- 
tions for legislation, a warHke something is in the air. 
Squads of soldiers are passing the Embassy, with much 
playing of the beautiful national hymn. They handle 
their brass very well, and their military music would be 
good anywhere. 

In Washington they are taking the news of the coup 
d'Mat with their coffee. . . . 

I have not yet seen von Hintze,^ though he came early 
yesterday, bringing a gift of fortifying liqueur, *'for the 
altitude," and some flowers; and I went with Elim to 
the Legation, later on. I understand that he looks at 
the situation rather en noir. But he is somewhat of a 
bear on Mexican matters, anyway, his first experience, 
on arriving three years ago, being the horrid Cova- 
donga miu-ders. . . . A certain natural exclusiveness and 
aloofness are among his special attributes, and his psy- 
, ^ The German minister. 

7 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

chology is somewhat mysterious, even to his friends; 
but he is immensely clever and charming, of the world, 
and very sympathetic — really a cher colleague! 

N. has just left the house in frock-coat and top-hat, 
the chiefs of mission having been summoned to the 
Foreign Office, where they will hear the official reason of 
the coup d'etat. I shall be most interested in the explana- 
tion, which will probably be some adroit Latin- American 
arrangement of facts. One has a feeling of being at 
school, here, and constantly learning something new to 
the Anglo-Saxon mentaUty. 

Now I must hie me down-stairs and tackle a few of 
my '^affairs of the interior." The house is so big that, 
even with the many servants now in it, it doesn't seem 
"manned," and bells are answered very intermittently. 
One or more of the servants can always be found at the 
gates of the garden, greeting the passers-by — a little 
Indian habit, and incurable. What I need is a European 
maUre d' hotel to thunder at them from his Aryan heights 
as the Wilsons had. There are some good Aztec speci- 
mens left over from their administration, whom I shall 
keep on — Aurora, a big, very handsome Indian maid, 
from the Apam valley; Maria, the head washerwoman, 
with fine, delicate hands, like a queen ; and a few others. 
Neither cook nor butler. Berthe is busy unpacking and 
pressing; everything was wrinkled by the damp, pen- 
etrating heat of the sea- trip. 

The Embassy has two gendarmes to watch the gate, 
instead of the usual one given to legations — nice, old 
Francisco, who has been in the service of the United 
States for twelve years, and a handsome new one — 
Manuel. The auto stands before the gate all day long. 
Jesus, the chauffeur, seems very good — a fine-featured, 
lithe-bodied, quick-witted young Indian. Though mar- 
ried, he is, I hear, much sought after by the other sex. 

8 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Elim always goes out with me, and loves sitting on the 
front seat with his dog, a melancholy Irish terrier sent 
by Mr. Armstead from Guanajuato. 

Exchange is now very low. One hundred dollars equals 
two hundred and eighty Mexican dollars. Very nice for 
those supplied from abroad, but killing to these people, 
and with the sure prospect of getting worse. The price 
of articles has gone up by leaps and bounds — not native 
foods so much, but all articles of import. I hear the 
auto-horn and must stop. Will be very much interested 
to hear the official wherefor of the cotip d'^taU 

October 12th, Evening. 

Well, the Diplomatic Corps, in uniform, was received 
at the Foreign Office with much unction, by the large, 
stout Moheno, Minister of Foreign Affairs, of whom 
more another time. He insisted principally on the 
great efforts General Huerta was making to restore 
peace, and the equally great obstructions placed in 
his way, saying that since the opening of Congress 
these obstructions had been particularly in evidence, 
handicapping him at every step. He added that, 
though the act of dissolving Congress was unconsti- 
tutional, Mexico must be compared to an ill man 
needing an immediate operation; and that the gov- 
ernment was confronted by the dilemma formulated 
by Gambetta (they do love to find a European simile 
for their situation) — ** Yield or resign!" which, in this 
case, would have been tantamount to national dissolu- 
tion. The crux of the speech is, however, that the 
elections are to be held this month. 

Sir Lionel presented his letters of credence yesterday, 
thus putting the hall-mark of his government upon 
Huerta. It appears there was quite a love-feast ; Huerta, 
of course, was immensely pleased at the proof of recog- 

9 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

nition at the delicate moment of his birth and first 
struggling cry as a dictator. 

Since the imprisonment of the Deputies there has been 
a constant stream of their mothers and wives and daugh- 
ters coming to the Embassy for help, though, of course, 
we can do nothing; little, plain, black-dressed, black- 
eyed women or high-chested, thick-lipped, diamond- 
ear-ringed ones, inclining to magenta or old gold; mostly, 
as far as I can see, Maderista in their tendencies. Two 
of the little, plain, black type who were here late last 
night, said they went every day to visit Madero's grave ! 
They fear the Deputies will be shot, but I hardly 
think shrewd old Huerta will go to any unnecessary 
lengths with the very cold eye of the world upon him. 
Keeping them locked up, where they can't vote, or dis- 
qualifying them, is all that he wants. It is true that they 
have never missed an opportunity in the Chamber to 
put a spoke in his wheel, and he got bored with the 
continual "block." He didn't arrest members of the 
Catholic party who, for the most part, had been trying 
to sustain order through him; they are, after all is said 
and done, the conservative, peace-wishing element in 
Mexico. 

The Senate he simply dissolved. They have not been 
giving him so much trouble. One of the heads of the 
Catholic party came to see N. yesterday, to talk over the 
opportuneness of their putting up any one as candidate 
for President — a tentative conversation, on his part. 
Men of his class, unfortunately for Mexico, rarely iden- 
tify themselves with political life, and were entirely in- 
visible during the Madero regime. The Clerical party 
has very little money, and feels the battle unequal and 
the outcome most uncertain. N. was, of course, non- 
committal in the matter, which he said was not in his 
province; but he added that there was no reason for 

10 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

the party to neglect to make some kind of representa- 
tion, any more than for the others to do so. Huerta 
is, of course, thoroughly anti-Clerical. 

Yesterday was the first anniversary of the independ- 
ence of China; it may be because it is so far away, but 
they seem to have had their revolution with very little 
sound of breakage. There was a reception at the Chi- 
nese Legation during the generous hours of 4 to lo. I 
went at about 5. I got up to go four times, and each 
time the chargi d'affaires caught me at the door and said, 
''You have been absent eight years — no, I mean eight 
months — and I can't let you go." I finally ran the 
blockade at 7.30, promising some insistent Oriental near 
the outer door that I would return. All the diplomats 
were there. I found von Hintze, like a visitant from 
another world, sitting, inscrutable, by the handsome, 
buxom wife of the Guatemalan minister. She was in 
black lace over orange silk, making my white tailor suit 
seem very severe. Stalewski, the Russian minister, was 
standing near, waiting for his tea. Sir L. and Lady C. 
came in at 6 o'clock only, then Madame Lefaivre — the 
Occidental diplomats naturally gravitating toward one 
another. Finally, at 7, when the rooms down-stairs 
were packed like sardine-boxes, we were directed up- 
stairs, where a handsome ''champagne lunch" was 
served. It was after this that I made my escape. The 
wife of the chargey and some other Oriental ladies, in 
appalling Western costumes, stood in close formation 
near the door from start to finish, wearing an unfading 
Oriental smile. 

N. spent the afternoon hunting for the Dictator, 
having been unable to track him down since the famous 
coup. He hopes to induce him to clemency regarding 
the deputies. Huerta has a very effective way of drop- 
ping out of a situation — just subtracting himself and 

n 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

reappearing when events have moved on. He preserves, 
according to his edict of the nth, the full powers vested 
in the executive, adding generously the powers of Gober- 
nacion (Interior), Hacienda (Treasury), and War, though 
only for the time absolutely necessary for the re-estab- 
lishment of the legislative power. By the powers of 
Gobern^ci6n he has declared invalid the exemption of 
Deputies from arrest and makes them subject to the 
jurisdiclion of the tribunals if found guilty of any offense 
or crimfi; most of the Deputies are only getting what 
they deserve. There is certainly reason to complain of 
their lack of pubHc spirit ; there seems little or no avail- 
able material here from which to build a self-governing 
state, and a dictator (or intervention) is what they need. 
Juarez took the fear of hell away from them some fifty 
years ago; Madero took the respect for the supremo 
gobierno (supreme power) as typified by the strong hand 
of Diaz. There seems nothing left to hold them — those 
fifteen millions, with their sixty-three dialects and their 
thousand idiosyncrasies of race and climate. 

Huerta has a handsome, quiet-faced wife and eleven 
children. These and a rented house (he has never lived 
at Chapultepec or at the Palace) are, up to now, his 
only apparent worldly possessions. I doubt whether he 
has the inclination or takes the time for an undue amount 
of grafting. He is, from what I hear, very canny in the 
matter of human equations and seems full of vitality 
and a sort of tireless, Indian perseverance. They 
say that the more he drinks the clearer his brain 
becomes. 

Nine Spaniards that were killed in Torreon the other 
day, on refusing to give up their goods and money, 
had their execution preceded by such gentle rites as 
digging their own graves. Villa has declared no quarter 
to Spaniards ; they must get out of his Mexico, bag and 

12 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

baggage, and he intends to see that the Church leaves 
with them. 

On all sides are praises of N.'s handling of the many 
complicated questions coming up, and his being persona 
grata with all parties. It is known that though in the 
carrying out of difficult orders from Washington there is 
an absolute ^ point-blankness, in their own affairs the 
Mexicans can count on tact, courtesy, and any service 
compatible with his position. 

I imagine that Mr. Lind will soon be realizing the fu- 
tihty of an indefinite stay on Mexican soil. There are 
no results — and I rate him a man used to results. 



11 

Sanctuary to Bonilla — Sir Lionel and Lady Garden — Carranza — Mexican 
servants — First reception at the American Embassy — Huerta receives 
the Diplomatic Corps — Election Day and a few surprises. 

October ijth. 

Manuel bonilla, a former Maderista, Minister 
-^ '^ -^ of Ways and Communications (known sometimes as 
''Highways and Buyways")» now Senator from Sinaloa, 
has just come, begging asylum. They are out to kill him. 
He greatly resembles the people who are after him. Of 
course we have had a room made ready for him, and he 
can stay quietly in it until a chance offers for getting 
out of the country. His room, by the way, contains the 

bed that Mrs. refused when she was shown over 

the Embassy, saying, "What! Sleep in the bed of a 
murderess?" The murderess being dear, gentle, pretty 
Mrs. Wilson, my late chef esse, and the murdered ones, I 
suppose, being Madero and Pino Suarez! 

President Wilson has now sent a message to the pro- 
visional government, entirely disapproving of the act 
of dissolving Congress, saying that any violence offered 
any Deputy will be looked on as an offense against the 
United States, and that, furthermore, the United States 
will not recognize any President elected after any such 
proceedings. N. has just gone to the Foreign Office to 
deliver himself of the news. Moheno is a large, stout, 
curly-haired Indian from Chiapas, with a bit of some- 
thing dark thrown in. He suggests a general effect of 
Italian tenor, but he is clever — perhaps "cute" is a 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

better word. These unfortunate people are between 
the devil and the deep sea — i. e., between their own law- 
lessness and us. 

The Gardens had their first reception to-day. The 
Legation is a new, artistic, most comfortable house just 
off the Paseo — the sort of thing English diplomats find 
awaiting them everywhere. Sir L. was here for sixteen 
years as consul. He was the British government's 
first representative after the Maximilian affair; so, 
though he has been absent many years, he finds himself 
en pays de connaissance. He is the handsome, perfectly 
groomed, tall, fresh-complexioned, white-mustached, 
unmistakable Briton. She is an agreeable American 
woman; but they both look pale and bloodless after 
many years of Habana and Guatemala. We are none 
of us at our rosiest under the palm and cactus. Sir L. 
has had thirty years of Latin-American diplomatic 
experience. 

October 14th. 

Proofs multiply of direct conspiracy of the Deputies 
against the provisional government. If you scratch 
a Maderista Deputy you are sure to find a revolutionary 
of some sort. The task of establishing peace seems well- 
nigh hopeless. Everywhere are treachery and venality. 
The note N. handed yesterday to the Foreign Office has 
not yet been answered, though Moheno refers to it in a 
press interview, saying that it had been presented to him 
by Charge d'affaires O'Shaughnessy, "A gentleman of 
the most exquisite culture," and that he must not be 
held responsible for the "intemperate language of his 
government," — rather cocky! Though N. is handling 
the officials with all possible care, everybody thinks they 
are preparing a fiery answer for to-morrow. They are 
capable, at any moment, of sending an ultimatum to 

IS 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Washington themselves, and then the fat would be in 
the fire ! 

A heavenly warm sun is streaming in. These October 
mornings, after the rains have ceased, are the brightest 
jewels in Mexico's crown of loveliness. 

N. is so sick of the murder and destruction he sees at 
first hand that he refuses to read anything about Mex- 
ico. He is, in fact, living a book of his own. But I take 
ari interest in outside comment. I have just read an 
article in the North American Review, by Sydney Brooks, 
giving the English view of the situation, which seems to 
be that if we had recognized Huerta he would, by now, 
have been far on the road toward the establishment of 
peace. Also a quotation from Le Temps, in to-day's Im- 
parcial, to the same effect. N., however, is beginning to 
think that nothing but intervention can bring about 
order. The elements of peace seem no longer in the 
republic itself. Intervention is a big word, but it 
needn't mean the extermination of Americans or their 
interests in Mexico. Many French people stayed on 
through the French intervention and reached a green old 
age ; Americans could do the same. Any one who really 
knows how easily peace is frightened out of a Latin- 
American republic, and how wary she is about coming 
back, would think twice about alarming her. 

EHm has just presented me with a large bunch of pink 
geraniums from the vases at our front entrance. I wish 
he would choose a more remote spot for depredations. 
He is drawn, as if by a magnet, to the gendarmes and 
the untasted joys of the pavement. The Mexicans are 
always nice with children. Theie isn't as much differ- 
ence between the little ones and the grown-ups as in 
more sophisticated countries. 

Bonilla, our minister-in-hiding, keeps very quiet. 
From what I hear, just to feel safe appears to be a great 

i6 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

luxury. I have had no intercourse with him, beyond an 
exchange of poHte messages and putting one of the men- 
servants at his disposition. They tell me he is very par- 
ticular about keeping his windows shut and his blinds 
well drawn at night, and is a bit jumpy if any one knocks 
at the door. 

Huerta has very little natural regard for human life. 
This isn't a specialty of successful dictators, anyway. 
Only by the hand of iron can this passionate, tenacious, 
mysterious, gifted, undisciplined race, composed of count- 
less unlike elements, be held in order. In the States, 
where, of course, as we all know, everybody and every- 
thing are just as they ought to be, this isn't quite under- 
stood. 

October 14th. 

There is a very persistent rumor to-night that the 
answer to President Wilson's message delivered by N. 
yesterday will be met by Mexico with the breaking off of 
diplomatic relations, in which case we will have to clear 
out immediately for Vera Cruz. The private citizens in 
town can take their time in leaving ; we must go quickly. 
I am not even unpacked; the linen of the voyage still 
hangs on the roof. It all quite takes my breath away;' I 
scarcely feel as if I had returned, and can't take in the 
idea of leaving. The full cup from the lip. We shall 
be a nine days' wonder on reaching New York, and then 
what? The American diplomatic service is the most 
uncertain quantity in the world. 

Later. 

Much expectant coming and going in the house, as I 
write. N., who is admirable at soothing these people, 
has seen Moheno, and, after long argimient, has per- 
suaded the Foreign Office to modify the belligerent tone 
of the answer to Washington. There were three Cabinet 

X7 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

meetings held since last night, to discuss the answer, 
with a majority in favor of extreme measures. It is, 
however, only putting off the day of rupture a few weeks 
or months, though N. feels each victory is so much 
gained for the United States. But the day will come 
when we will find ourselves trekking north. 

October i6th. 

Yesterday, at dark, we got Bonilla off, grateful but 
nervous. The motor took him to a station about twenty 
kilometers from the town, where he boarded the train 
for Vera Cruz, to get the German boat of to-day. Along 
a certain trend of legal reasoning he is some sixth in line 
for President, after Madero, Pino Suarez, Lascurain, and 
others who have been killed, or have disappeared from 
the uncertain glories of office. He goes to Washington 
to join the Maderistas, I suppose, in spite of the fact that 
he has given his word of honor not to ally himself with 
the revolutionists. It was only on such a promise 
that we could give asylum to an enemy of the govern- 
ment to which N. is accredited. 

The legal (if not the moral) genealogical tree of 
Huerta's Presidency is the following: Madero, Consti- 
tutional President; Pino Suarez, Constitutional Vice- 
President (their resignations were accepted previous to 
their imprisonment, by Pedro Lascurain, Minister for 
Foreign Affairs, and a God-fearing, honorable gentle- 
man, by the way); Lascurain became President by 
operation of law in regard to the vacant executive power; 
he was President some twenty minutes it appears (a 
bit short, even for Latin- America), giving him time to 
appoint Huerta to the post of Minister of Gobemacion 
(Interior). After Lasctuain's resignation, given, I under- 
stand, with alacrity, automatically, by operation of 
law, the executive power fell to Huerta with its provi- 

i8 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

sional character, and under the Constitutional promise 
to call especial elections. This is the technical way by 
which Huerta became President, and, according to the 
Mexican constitution, there are no doubts about the 
complete legality of the operation. 

October 17th. 

A quiet day ; many rumors, but no events. All the 
time the Carranzistas are gathering strength as a party; 
strength apparently coming to them from "above" — • 
a higher latitude, I mean. Seen at close range they are, 
unfortunately, no better than ''the others." Carranza 
is not a bloodthirsty villain, but the physically timid, 
greedy, quiet, conscienceless, book-reading kind, and 
* ' constitucionalista " is a word to conjure with. It 
can move a good Anglo-Saxon to tears, though I must 
say that all revolutionary leaders in Mexico get hold of 
excellent banner devices. Madero's were above criti- 
cism — ''Sufragio ejectivo y no Re-eleccidn'^ (''Effective 
Suffrage and No Re-election"). This last shows you 
that they can go much farther in the expression of pure, 
distilled patriotism and democracy than we, as those of 
us called to the dignity of office are not entirely able to 
rid ourselves of a wish for a second term. 

Also Carranza, who has none of the ability of Huerta 
and none of his force, has had the luck to strike a con- 
vincing note with his long whiskers and generally ven- 
erable aspect, imitated by all his followers as far as 
nattire allows. They tell me New York and Washington 
are full of. respectable, thin, long-whiskered, elderly 
Mexicans. Those who have watched Carranza' s long 
career, however, say that a quiet, tireless, sleepless 
greed has been his motive force through life, and his 
strange lack of friendliness to Washington is accounted 
for by the fact that he really hates foreigners, any and 
all, who prosper in Mexico. It seems to me one can 

19 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

scent trouble here. Lack of any special political color 
and principles, and general mediocrity, have kept him 
obscure, but he now finds himself at last accidentally 
clothed and most acceptable to the Gran Nacion del 
Norte in the fashionable and exclusive garb of con- 
stitutionalism. I wonder if he doesn't sometimes wonder 
why on earth he is so popular in Washington. 

I' am told that Sefiora Madero, poor, pitiful, little, 
black-robed figure, saw President Wilson soon after the 
murders, and her tragic tale may perhaps have deter- 
mined his policy. 

The fact remains, however, that Huerta is in control 
of the army and the visible machinery of government 
which represents to the conservative elements (badly 
enough or well is a detail), their constitution, the only 
form around which the affairs of the nation can group 
themselves with any definiteness. 

I had a long talk the other day with the minister. 

He seems to think (all, of course, politely veiled) that 
the policy of the United States is to weaken these people 
by non-recognition, and, when they are agonizing, to 
come in cheaply and easily, thus avoiding armed inter- 
vention now, which would be much better for the Mexi- 
cans, though more expensive for us. All the chers col- 
Ugues veil behind unassailably discreet remarks their 
not very flattering idea of what they doubtless call among 
themselves our ** little game." 

I am enjoying the spaces in this huge house, free to the 
sun and air on all sides. Its lack of furniture is amply 
compensated for by flooding luxuries of light and air. 
I am going to receive on Tuesday, and I suppose many 
people will come. 

October 22nd. 

Yesterday I had my first reception. About fifty people 
came — the chers colUgues and some of the colony, 

20 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

mostly only those whose orbit sometimes crosses the dip- 
lomatic orbit. There were flowers in every available 
receptacle. I made a delicious punch myself, if I do 
say it, and Mrs. Burnside poured tea; but I miss so 
many of the familiar and friendly faces of our first so- 
journ — Mr. James Brown Potter and the Riedls, Mr. 
Butler, and many others. 

Monday I am giving a * ' bridge ' ' for Lady C. I cannot 
yet have any one for lunch or dinner, but I want to give 
some little sign on her arrival. The Gardens are a very 
great addition to an ever-narrowing circle. 

Great Britain stands pat on its recognition of Huerta, 
which adds greatly to his prestige in the eyes of his own 
people, and is most welcome in view of the approaching 
elections. We understand the ticket will be Huerta and 
Blanquet, in spite of Washington's frowns. 

I do not know the real qualities of Blanquet, up to 
now faithful supporter of Huerta and his Minister of 
War. The dramatic fact that, in the firing-squad at 
Queretaro, it was he who gave the coup de grdce to Maxi- 
milian, has always overtopped everything else. The 
pictures of Maximilian in the National Museum, poor, 
blond, blue-eyed gentleman, show him utterly unfitted 
to grapple with the situation, though filled with the 
best intentions. He was like some rabbit, or other help- 
less animal, caught in a trap. When one has seen arch- 
dukes on their native heaths, one realizes that they are 
not of the material to wrestle with the descendants of 
Montezuma; though I don't know that we, in spite of all 
our "efficiency," are being any more successful! 

Great Britain will be very polite, but will not depart 
one hair's-breadth from what it has decided on as its 
Mexican poHcy, involving big questions, not alone of 
prestige, but oil, railways, mines, etc. In fact, the 
British reply to Mr. Bryan in to-day's newspaper quite 

3 21 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

clearly says that England will be delighted to follow any 
policy from Washington as long as it does not interfere 
with what the British Foreign Office has decided to do. 
They simply can't understand our not protecting Ameri- 
can lives and interests. Their policy here is purely com- 
mercial, while ours, alas! has come to be political. 

Great excitement is predicted for Sunday, the day of 
the election, but all the timid have to do is to stay at 
home, if their curiosity permits. 

The import duties are raised 50 per cent, from the 
twenty-eighth of October. But it will, fortunately, 
bear less heavily on the Jrijoles- and banana-eating part 
of the population than on those who want breakfast- 
foods and pdte de foie gras. 

A cook comes to-day, highly recommended, but I can 
see just the sort of things she will turn out, if left to 
herself — fried bananas, goat stew, etc. She comes ac- 
companied by her little girl of three. One of the washer- 
women also has a child with her, and there are tenta- 
tive remarks from other quarters regarding offspring. 
But the house is so big that a few indwellers, more or 
less, make no difference; and I am not sorry, in these 
uncertain times, to harbor a few bright-eyed, soft- 
skinned, silent brown babies under my roof. The hand- 
some Indian maid who came to the city from her puehlo, 
because her stepfather was too attentive, has gone. 
She simply vanished; but as the other servants, on in- 
quiry, don't seem worried, I suppose it is all right. They 
have a way of leaving after they get their month's wages, 
though their departure is generally preceded by some 
such formality as declaring that their grandmother is 
dead, or their aunt ill. Where they go is a mystery. 

To-morrow we lunch at the Simon's. He is the clever 
French Inspecteur des Finances of the Banco Nacional. 
They have a handsome house in the Paseo, an excellent 

22 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

French chejy and are most hospitable. She is witty and 
cultivated; we sometimes call her "/a helle cuisiniire.^* 
In the evening we dine with Rieloff , the musical German 
consul-general, who will serve Beethoven and Bach 
very beautifully, after dinner. I am very little disposed 
to go out in the evening here, and N. is nearly always 
busy with despatches until a late hour. There is some- 
thing in the air, nearly 8,000 feet in the tropics, which 
discourages night life, even in normal times, and ter- 
tulias ^ of any kind are infrequent. At ten the streets 
are deserted and the Mexicans all under some sort of 
cover. Even in the big houses they take the most ab- 
stemious of evening meals, and go to bed early, to be 
ready for the exceeding beauty of the early morning. 

All the foreigners here have nerves. What would be 
peaceful, dove-like households at sea-level, become scenes 
of breakage of all description at this altitude, and all 
sorts of studies might be made on the subject of "air 
pressure" on the life of man and woman. There is not 
the accustomed amount of oxygen in the air and, with 
all the burning-up processes of the body lessened, there 
is an appalling strain on the nerves. Hence many tears! 

I wonder if you ever got the book and letter I sent you 
from the boat from Santander. I gave them, with ample 
postage and a fat tip, to an attractive, barefooted, 
proud-looking Spaniard, who had brought a letter on 
board for some one. I told him they were for mi madre. 
With a most courtly bow, hat in one hand, the other on 
his heart, he assured me that he would attend to the 
matter as if it were for his own mother ! Pues quien sabef 

October 24th. 

Yesterday at noon, Huerta, surrounded by his entire 
Cabinet, received the Diplomatic Corps, and, though 

* Terttdia — evening party. 
23 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

there was much excitement beforehand, when his remarks 
were boiled down, nothing was changed. The Mexican 
is a past master at presenting the same condition under 
some other expedient and disarmingly transparent dis- 
guise. The way out of what we all considered a great 
difficulty is amazingly simple. There will be no Presi- 
dent elected ! Huerta declares he will not be a candidate, 
and no one else will have the necessary majority. 

The plain EngHsh of it all is — Huerta at the head of 
the government as full-fledged military dictator. After 
the formal statement of affairs he turned to N. and 
begged him to assure Washington of his good faith ; and he 
reiterated that his sole aim was the pacification of Mex- 
ico. He then became overpoweringly, embarrassingly 
polite — even tender. He took N.'s arm and led him out 
to have a capita^ in the face of the assembled corps, 
having previously embraced him, saying, with playful 
reminiscence, "I arrest you." Such are the vicissitudes 
of representing the Stars and Stripes in Mexico ! People 
tell me Huerta' s speeches are generally masterpieces of 
brevity, with something magnetic and human about 
them. The EngHsh support has strengthened him, with- 
in and without. 

Sir L. and N. were snap-shotted together by indiscreet 
newspaper men as they were leaving the Palacio. A 
pi^ce d conviction, if ever there was one. Sir L. was 
laughingly apologetic for N.'s being "found so near the 
body." 

Mrs. Lind left yesterday for the United States, and 
I have written to the Governor, who may be lonely, to 
tell him how welcome he would be if he likes to return 
to Mexico City. I can make him comfortable — in a 
bedroom and study adjoining — and we would really like 
to see hitrt. However, he may not care to come up for 

^A little drink 

H - 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

another Jausse couche, as one of the colleagues called 
his first visit. 

Everybody is expecting disorders on Sunday — Elec- 
tion Day. There is very little difference between law- 
makers and lawbreakers in Mexico. We foreign devils 
can scarcely keep our faces straight when we hear the 
word "elections." Sunday is sure to find Huerta still in 
the saddle. 

October 25th. 

Yesterday L , confidential agent of Felix Diaz, ap- 
peared at luncheon-time. He is a clever and plausible 
individual, angling for the United States recognition for 
Diaz's candidacy. A special train has been offered Felix 
Diaz, but he is afraid, and not without reason, to venture 
up into the unknown, so he will wait presidential results 
at Vera Cruz, with its attractive harbor ftdl of fast 
ships. 

Tuesday, 28th. 

The great day of the elections — the 26th — ^passed off, 
not only without disturbance, but without voters or 
votes! The candidates so talked of during these last 
days were conspicuous by their absence. Felix Diaz 
was afraid to come to the capital, though all ''assur- 
ances" — whatever that may mean — had been given him. 
In Vera Cruz he stayed at a second-rate hotel, next door 
to the American Consulate — the Stars and Stripes, 
doubtless, looking very comfortable from an accessible 
roof-to-roof vantage-ground. He has missed, fatalisti- 
cally, it would seem, the occasions whereby he might 
have become ruler of Mexico. He is a gentleman, rather 
in our sense of the word, and the name he bears is linked 
to the many glories of Mexico, but this is, probably, his 
political burial. Already opportunity has called bini 
thrice — Vera Cruz, in 191 2; then Mexico City, in Feb- 

2S 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

niaxy, 1913; now again at Vera Cruz, in October, 19 13; 
and still another wields the destinies of Mexico. 

The chers colleagues prophesy that we shall be here 
until next May, when probably new elections will be 
held. The concensus of opinion is that I might as well 
get the much-discussed drawing-room curtains and the 
rest, though I can't feel enthusiastic about ordering a 
lot of things that may come in only as I go out. The 
dining-room continues to strike me as a terribly bleak 
place, like all north rooms in the tropics. 

I must say that one has very little hunger at this 
height, where the processes of digestion are much slower 
than at ordinary altitudes. When one has eaten a soup 
of some sort, a dish of rice garnished with eggs, bacon, 
and bananas (which any Mexican can do beautifully), or 
one of the delicious light omelettes — tortilla de huevos — 
topped off by some of the little, wild, fragrant straw- 
berries almost perennial here, and over which wine is 
poured as a microbe-killer, one's "engine is stoked" for 
twenty-four hoiu-s. 

There have just been the usual parley ings about the 
brandy for the turkey — the guajolote, the Indians call 
him — the ancestral bird of Mexico. The Aztecs ate, and 
continue to eat, him; and good cooks have the habit of 
giving him the following happy death : on the morning of 
the day on which you are to eat him, you generally hear 
him gobbling about. Then there is the demand for 
whisky or brandy '*por el gaujolote, pobrecito." The un- 
fortunate (or fortunate) bird is then allowed to drink 
himself to death. This is the effective way of render- 
ing him chewable, it being impossible to hang meats at 
this altitude. The flesh becomes soft and white and 
juicy. But try a gravel-fed gaujolote that has not gone 
to damnation ! 

The food question is difficult here, anyway, and per- 

26 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

sonally I am unable to wrestle with it. The far-famed 
tropical fruits of this part of the world are most disap- 
pointing, with the exception of the mango, with its clear, 
clean, slightly turpentiny taste. There are many vari- 
eties of bananas, but scarcely a decent one to be had, 
such as any Italian push-cart is stocked with in New 
York. The chirimoya has a custard-like taste — the chico 
zapote, looking like a potato, has also, to our palate, a very- 
unpleasant, mushy consistency, and everything is pos- 
sessed of abnormally large seeds at the center. The 
beautiful-looking, but tough, peaches that adorn our 
tables come from California; also the large, rather with- 
ered grapes. 



Ill 

Federal and Rebel excesses in the north — Some aspects of social life — 
Mexico's inner circle — Huerta's growing difficulties — Rabago — The 
"Feast of the Dead." — Indian booths at the Alameda — The Latin- 
American's future. 

October 2Qth. 

THE Minister for Foreign Affairs is now in the drawing- 
room, from which I have fled, having asked to con- 
fer with N. He has been frightened at the intervention 
outlook and probably has come to try to find out what 
Washington really has in store for Mexico. He said the 
other day that the suspense was paralyzing to the 
nation. 

The British vice-consul at Palacio Gomez, Mr. Cu- 
nard Cummings, came for lunch. He has had a thorough 
experience with both rebels and Federals at Torreon, and 
has terrible stories to tell of both sides. You don't 
change Mexican methods by draping them in different 
banners. In fact, it isn't the banner, here, but the 
kind of hand carrying it, that makes the difference. He 
told us how one night the rebels shot up the hospital 
in his town, crowded with wounded whom he and the 
doctors had left fairly comfortable. The next morning, 
when he went back, his attention was first caught by 
something dark and sticky dripping from the balcony, 
as he went into the patio. Up-stairs a dreadful sight was 
presented by the overturned cots, the broken medicine- 
bottles, and last, but not least, the human horrors. 

Another tale is that of an ex-Deputy, de la Cadena, 
who walked up the aisle of a church with clanking sword 
and spurs, seized the priest officiating at Mass, and threw 

?8 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

him and the sacred vessels out into the street, to the 
consternation and terror of the humble worshipers. 

Two federal military trains have been blown up during 
the last week. Ninety persons were killed at one station 
and, the day before, one hundred and two killed in the 
same way at Lulu station. It is certainly a dance of 
death. 

October 30th. 

Last night there was a very pleasant dinner at the 
German Legation, at which I presided. I wore my 
black satin Spitzer dress, with the white-and-silver hang- 
ing sleeves, which was much admired. Everybody's 
clothes are known here and people are thankful to see 
something new. The Belgian minister was on one side 
of me, and the Japanese on the other. Von Hintze was 
opposite, with Lady C. on his right, and Senora de Rul, 
wearing magnificent pearls and a high-necked dress, on 
his left. Three of the officers of the Hertha were there, 
giving rise to uncompHcated jokes about ** Hertha" and 
"Huerta." Of course conversation about Id situacidn 
twisted through the various courses. The opinion is 
that there are enough warring elements in town to pro- 
vide a sort of spontaneous combustion, without the aid 
of any outside happenings. 

Moheno had evidently got word of the Cabinet meet- 
ing in Washington, when he came to see N., yesterday. 
He was most profuse in protestations of friendship, per- 
sonal and political. They are all a bit worried and per- 
haps will be amenable to negotiations. 

October 31st. 

Yesterday there was a luncheon at May's in honor of 
the Belgians who have come to get the much-talked-of 
railroad concession — a little matter of five thousand kilo- 
meters. Everything is beautifully done at his house, and 

29 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

he has many lovely works of art. The table was a mass of 
small, yellow chrysanthemums in a beautiful, old English 
porcelain surtout de table, having a yellow fond; the food 
was the triumph of a French chef over Mexican mate- 
rial. But, like all houses facing north, the May's house 
seemed desperately chilly when one came in out of the 
bright, fresh autumn day. Simon, the clever French 
Inspecteur des Finances, came in only when lunch was 
nearly over. His wife had been in tears most of the time, 
and we were all a bit jumpy — as there were rumors of 
a raid on the bank, and we feared that he and the 
other directors might have been asked for their money 
or their lives. I invited them all for tea on Monday. 
Graux, the chief engineer, has a handsome English wife. 

When I see the fully furnished salons of others, I long 
for my Lares and Penates, so safe in Vienna; though, I 
must say, the drawing-room has begun to look very 
homelike and comfortable, with its deep chairs, broad 
writing-desk, small tables, reading-lamps, palms, photo- 
graphs, books, and bibelots. 

In the afternoon we went to a small tea in another 
world than the political. It was given by Madame de 
Riba, nee Garcia Pimentel, of the inner circle of the 
aristocrats, where el gobierno is looked at from more or 
less of a distance, and where foreigners seldom pen- 
etrate. They are the delightful, charming people one 
sees in the same set all over the world, and remind me of 
the "cousinage" of the "first society" of Vienna. They 
constantly intermarry, and, though they travel, they 
rarely make foreign alliances, and are apt to return to 
their own country, which, despite its political uncer- 
tainties, is more beautiful than any other. There are 
many works of art left in Mexico from the old Spanish 
days, and in such houses one finds them. The hand- 
some, agreeable, amiable women, moreover, wear Paris 

30 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

clothes and Cartier-set jewels; the men are dressed by 
London tailors. The scene yesterday suggested any Eu- 
ropean capital, and that inner circle where beauty, 
wealth, and distinction abide. The members of this 
inner circle are all in favor of the paternal form of gov- 
ernment. They themselves exercise a more or less be- 
neficent sway over the laborers on their big estates ; and 
they realize from experience the necessity of a highly 
centralized government in this country, where, of the 
fifteen millions of inhabitants, thirteen million are In- 
dians, and the other two million gachupines, mestizos, 
foreigners of various sorts. Huerta once told N. that the 
gachupines had spoiled a good race. He casts the stone 
back as far as Cort6s — rather a novel idea! 

The bull-fight contingent from Spain arrives to-day. 
There is great excitement, and with such a spur we all feel 
that business ought to improve. Lack of money is the 
crux of the whole situation in Mexico, and, with the 
United States frowning on any nation that even hints at 
a loan, the case seems desperate. Any one, however, can 
afford a bull-fight ticket. If not for the more expensive 
seats en sombra (in the shade), the people get a boleto de 
sol, where they simmer blissfully in the sunny half of the 
Ring. 

I inclose a newspaper cutting about Bonilla, who was 
in hiding here. He is celebrated for his blunders — 
bonilladas, they are called. As a delicate expression 
of his thanks, on his arrival at Washington, he sent N. 
an open telegram announcing his safe arrival and ending 
with messages of gratitude neatly calculated to make 
trouble for his benefactor in both capitals. 

I am finding myself very well off here, in the center of 
daily occurrences of vital interest. A full plate of life! 
One of its sweetnesses, doubtless, is that I don't know 
how long it will last. My tea-service is the only thing I 

31 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

really miss. A tent of a night I know — but the tea hour 
comes every day! 

November 2nd. 

.Last night came what is practically an ultimatum 
from Washington to Huerta. He is to get out, he, and 
all his friends, or — intervention. N. was at the palace 
until one o'clock in the morning. It is asking Huerta to 
conmiit political suicide, and he, unfortunately, does not 
feel so inclined. Also, he has a conviction that he is a 
sort of "Man of Destiny" who can bring peace to 
Mexico. N. tried to convince him of the complete im- 
possibility of standing up against the United States, and 
urged him again and again to give way. I was troubled 
during the night by visions of intervention, further dev- 
astation of this beautiful land, and the precious blood 
of my own people. 

I am reading a Spanish book on the war of 1847, Pub- 
lished in 1848. The reasons why battles were lost 
sound immensely familiar — generals not coming up with 
reinforcements, or the commissary not materializing, or 
the troops deserting. It is all so like what we are read- 
ing now in the newspapers! No tempora mutantur here. 

November 3rd. 

If Huerta feels himself in his last ditch, with this 
threat of intervention, he may answer ''que vengan.'' 
The upper classes here seeni to feel that it is what we 
intend and feel that if ' ' 'twere done, 'twere well 'twere 
done quickly," before the country is ruined. The bitter 
pill will be sugar-coated by thoughts of the prosperity to 
follow. A came this morning, and, after a long con- 
versation about Mexico's troubles, cried: "Come in im- 
mediately and clear up this impossible situation, or 
leave us alone. Nothing is safe; nothing is sacred!'* 
Hi3 large sugar interests are in the Zapatista country, 

32 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

and he is pretty well ruined by their destruction. If we 
come in, the military part is, perhaps, the least of it; a 
huge administrative job would follow — Cuba and the 
Philippines are mere child's play to it. 

A rather cryptic letter came from Mr. Lind this morn- 
ing. We gather that he is thinking of leaving, as he feels 
that he can't do anything ! He has learned, as somebody 
said, enough Spanish to say nothing in it. I think, how- 
ever, it is as difficult for the United States to withdraw 
him as it was embarrassing to send him. Also a letter 
came from Burnside, from Vera Cruz, telling of the war- 
ships and their positions in the harbor. He predicts a 
migration north for all of us, at an early date — but who 
knows ? 

November 4th. 

More battle-ships are announced. We shall have, ac- 
cording to to-day's paper, about 6,000 men at Vera 
Cruz. Box-cars are being sent to the frontier; it m_ust 
all mean preparation for some definite stroke on the 
part of the United States. I feel that I am seeilig 
life from a very big angle. In spite of the underlying 
excitement here, outwardly things take their usual course. 
Now we motor out to Tlalpam with the Belgian minister, 
to lunch at Percival's. It is a wondrous, glistening day, 
and the swift run over the smooth, straight road toward 
the enchanting hills which form its near backgroimd 
will be pure joy. The mountains have a way of chan- 
ging their aspect as one motors along, even with one's 
eye on them. From being a breath, an emanation, they 
become blue, purple realities of matchless beauty — dark 
shadows pinned to them with spears of light. 

The extremely delicate negotiations N. has been hav- 
ing with the President's private secretary, Rabago, 
concerning Huerta's possible resignation, have leaked 
Out, not from Mexico, but from the United States, and, 

33 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

we suspect, via Vera Cruz. At the somewhat early hour 
of two in the morning the press correspondents began to 
come to the Embassy. It is now 11.30 and they have 
been coming ever since. 

N., of course, denies categorically having negotiations 
on hand. Mr. Bryan, we see by the morning newspaper, 
is reported as looking very pleased at the aspect of the 
Mexican situation, on account of the aforesaid negotia- 
tions. The correspondents here must be heaven-bom. 
Their scent is unerring. If there is anything even dreamed 
of they appear in shoals; when things are in abeyance 
you wouldn't know there was one in town. They try, 
naturally, to read something political into everything 
that happens. For instance, the officers of the German 
training-ship invited several of the ministers to take a 
little trip to Vera Cruz, and the German, Russian, and 
Nawegian ministers accepted — which is why the news- 
papers had it that there was a meeting of plenipotenti- 
aries at Vera Cruz. They are on a hunting trip for two 
days and will return to-morrow. 

Felix Diaz has at last been landed at Havana (much 
to the reHef, I imagine, of the captain of the U. S. S. 
Wheeling^ on which ship he sought refuge) and his 
political curtain has been rung down on this especial act. 

November 5th. 

Rabago is a very clever man, endowed to a high 
degree with the peculiarly caustic type of Latin-American 
wit, whose natural object here seems always to be Mex- 
ico's kaleidoscopic government. His paper^EZ Manana did 
more than anything else to kill Madero by perseveringly 
reflecting his weaknesses in a mirror of ridicule. On ac- 
count of his opposition to the Maderos and his Porfirista 
sympathies he was taken up by the aristocratic class 
and has been of immense service to Huerta, a sort of 

34 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

bridge between him and them. But how far the advice 
to resign, which he swears that he has urged on Huerta, 
will be followed remains to be seen. Huerta has a deep, 
strange, Indian psychology entirely unfamiliar to us, 
which is at work on the situation, and the results cannot 
be predicted. 

It was amusing to see the various ministers arrive at 
the Embassy, one after the other, to assure N. that 
there had been no conference of ministers at Vera 
Cruz with Mr. Lind. They intend to uphold the pro- 
tocol, and wouldn't be caught flirting with an unknown 
official quantity behind N.'s back for anything in the 
world. . . . Huerta easily gets suspicious and I dare say 
the whole proceeding is spoiled. N. goes to-day with the 
ultimatum to the President himself, and we shall see 
what we shall see. It is all very uncertain, but intensely 
interesting, in the magnetic, highly colored, Latin-Amer- 
ican way. It makes London, Paris, and New York seem 
very banal. 

Just home, after leaving N. at the Palacio, where the 
answer to the ultimatum is supposed to be forthcoming. 
All the clerks are here, in readiness to get off despatches. 
On my way back I stopped at the Alameda for a 
belated look at the booths stocked with the articles 
appropriate, according to Aztec ideas, for All Saints' 
Day and the Feast of the Dead. Countless Indians, 
picturesque and mysterious, flood into the city, build 
their booths, stay a few days, and then silently ebb 
away, unseen until the next occasion — Christmas. 
Great bunches of a yellow flower — cinco llagas, "Flower 
of Death," the Indians call it — are everywhere for sale, 
to be placed afterward on the evanescent graves. Toy 
death's-heads and small toy coffins of all sorts abound. 
A favorite device is one whereby a string is pulled, the 
dead man raises his head, and when one lets go he falls 

35 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

back with a rattling sound. It is all a bit macabre, sold by 
these imperturbable Indians of the plateau, who are far 
from being a jovial race. Pulque and their other drinks 
often induce silence and melancholy rather than hilarity. 
They never sing nor whistle in the streets. They almost 
never dance. If they go through a few figures it is mostly 
in a solemn manner and on the occasion of some church 
festival, when they dance and gesticulate, strangely gar- 
landed, in the patio of the church itself. 

The Alameda is a handsome park in the very middle 
of the town, and marks the site of the old Aztec tianguiz, 
or market-place. Fountains and flowers abound, and it 
is lavishly planted with beautiful eucalyptus and palms; 
an excellent band plays daily. The pajarera (aviary) 
around which the children cluster is very poor, consid- 
ering the beauty and variety of the Mexican birds and 
the Aztec traditions in this regard. The park has no 
railing around it — one can stroll in from the broad Ave- 
nida Juarez. The drawback to the stone benches, placed 
at intervals, is that the most prominent have graven 
upon them the words, ''Eusebio Gayosso'' — the name of 
the popular undertaker. In the midst of life you are in 
death there. However, the eternal Indians, sunning 
themselves and their offspring on the benches, can't 
read; they have this advantage over any ilustrado who 
might Want to rest a bit. 

N. has just returned with the anxiously awaited answer, 
which is quite beside the point. Huerta is probably 
sparring for time. He proffers vague, pleasant words 
in answer to the very definite message of the President, 
to the effect that he has always been animated by the 
most patriotic desires, that he will always limit his 
acts to the law, and that after the elections he will 
scrupulously respect the public wish and will recognize 
any person elected as President for the term to the 

36 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

30th of November, 19 16. N. recommends the with- 
drawal of the Embassy if, after the 23d of this month, 
when a new congress is to be convened, Huerta has not 
resigned. This might influence Huerta; and again, he 
may consider it only another cry of wolf. 

The fact is, nobody believes we really will intervene. 
The chances that we shall depart on a war-ship instead 
of by the Ward Line are very good, the "d" in this in- 
stance making all the difference. I shall hate to leave 
this palpitating, prismatic sort of life; but it isn't 
the moment to have personal feelings of any sort. 

Driving back this evening toward a beautiful, clear, 
red sunset, Up the Plateros between the rows of autos 
alid carriages full of handsomely dressed people, the 
men standing along the edge of the pavement as they 
do in Rome on the Corso, it seemed impossible that I 
Was looking at a people over whom a great national 
humiliation was hanging. The crowds become more 
and more Mexican every day, with fewet American 
faces. 

We lunched to-day with the Iturbides. Everything 
was done in the best of style — ^with beautiful old silver and 
porcelain. He is a descendant of the Emperor Augustine 
iturbide of tragic history, and a charmnng and very 
clever young man who would adorn any society. Senor 
Bernal, with his Christus head, its extreme regularity 
chisled in pale, ivory tones, sat on my other side. They 
all seemed to fear that in view of the, to them, inexplic- 
able attitude of the United States, the end in Mexico 
would be the lotig-dreaded intervention in some form. 
Not a man who was at the table, however, really occu- 
pies himself with politics. They all have handsome 
houses in town, but they live for the most part on their 
haciendas, which they work on the paternal plan, the 
only plan as yet productive of results here and which we 
4 37 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

in the United States don't at all understand, not being 
able to put ourselves into another nation's shoes. The 
actual political business here is left to the educated 
middle class, whose members, instead of being pillars of 
society, form the stratum from which the professional 
politician and embryo revolutionist always spring — ^the 
UcenciodoSy sometimes called the curse of Mexico, and 
other men of the civil professions, generally venal to a 
degree. The peon is faithful when he has no power and 
the aristocrat is noble; but no country is secure whose 
best elements are the extremes. 

I am not, however, pessimistic as to the future of the 
real Latin-American typified by this middle stratum, 
generally mestizo. He always forms the active part of 
the population, and in his hands seems to lie the future 
of the country. The Spaniard as typified by the aristo- 
cratic^ classes is apt to hold himself aloof and will 
always do so. The Indian, except in the isolated case of 
some individual possessing genius, sure to present him- 
self from time to time, has not the qualities to form the 
dominant element. It is, therefore, reserved for this 
crossing of Spaniard and native to finally embody and 
present the real national characteristics. 

A nmior is out to-night that, as the present banking 
act relative to certain reserves of gold and silver doesn't 
suit Huerta, he has decided to do away with it, and we 
are to stand firmly { ?) on paper. Shades of Limantour i 

This afternoon I bought several beautiful old inlaid 
frames. These last words tell of one of the greatest 
pleasures in Mexico — ^prowling around for antiques. 
Almost every one coming down here gets the fever and 
spends hours turning over junk, in an almost delirious 
way, in the hope of unearthing treasure. In spite of the 
fact that for almost fifty years Mexico has been drained 
by the traveler, and again and again devastated by civil 

38 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

strife, there still remain endless lovely things, testifying 
to the wealth and taste of the old Spanish days. 

November 6tk* 

The statement in the Mexican Herald that Mr. Lind 
had confirmed the report of an ultimatum and the prob- 
able failure of negotiations is simply astoimding* Turn 
the light of publicity on Huerta and he is as wary as 
some wild animal who comes into contact with man for 
the second time. Whatever he may have been contem- 
plating, these special negotiations are now dead and 
buried. 

There was a big dinner at the Belgian Legation to- 
night; everything beautifully done, as usual. I sat op- 
posite my host, between von H. and Sir L. Wore the 
flowered black velvet chiffon, and that black aigrette 
with the Pocahontas effect in my hair; von H. wanted 
to know why this delicate Indian tribute. There was no 
political conversation, as, with the exception of the C.'s, 
von H., and ourselves, only handsome, well-dressed, and 
bejeweled members of the Mexican smart set were pres- 
ent. May is nothing if not exclusive, with a perfect 
flair for the chicheria. His handsome wife is in Paris. 

My drawing-room is filled with the beautiful pink 
geraniums that grow thick on the walls of the Embassy 
gardens and balconies. Juan, the gardener, who, like 
all Aztecs, understands flowers, brings them in every 
other morning, cutting them most effectively with very 
long stems and many leaves. 

**Ship ahoy!'* in the harbor of Vera Cruz no longer 
excites attention. Counting the French and German 
ships, there are about a dozen in all. Seven belong to 
us. There were only two — the New Hampshire and the 
Louisiana — guarding the entrance to the channel when 
we arrived a month ago. Is the plot thickening? 

39 



IV 

The "Abfazo" — Arrival of Mr. Lind — Delicate negotiations in progress 
— Luncheon at the German Legation — Excitement about the bull -fight 
— Junk-hunting — Americans in prison — Another "big game" hunt. 

November yth. 

THE newspaper with the announcement that Mr. 
Lind had left Vera Cruz last night for Mexico 
City was brought up on my breakfast tray. I have had 
two rooms made ready for him, moving rugs and desks 
and furniture about, robbing Peter to pay Paul, as one 
does in an incompletely furnished house. He will be 
welcome, and I hope comfortable, as long as he sees 
fit to stay. I bear the memory of something magnetic, 
something disarming of criticism, in his clear, straight 
gaze, blue viking eye, his kindly smile, and his tall, 
spare figure, clothed, not dressed. He won't find it 
easy here and I don't think any Mexican official sporting 
the oak of the protocol will receive him unless he is 
accompanied by N. — a sort of political, Siamese- twin 
effect, and of a superfluity. 

Later. 

When I got down-stairs Mr. Lind was in N.'s study. 
To greet him I had to get through a swarm of newspaper 
men Clustering like bees around the honey-pot of 
''copy." I presented him, so to speak, with the keys of 
the borough, and retreated to my own bailiwick to order 
luncheon for one o'clock. The whole town is whispering 
and wondering what it all will mean. Huerta remains 
silent. It appears that he and his generals are now 

40 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

willing to make headway against the rebels. Why not 
before? A hundred years ago ''dips" were sent to 
Constantinople to learn a thing or two they hadn't 
known before. Now, I think, Mexico is as good a school 
for the study of other points of view. 

Mr. Lind makes no secret of his conviction of the 
hostile intentions of England in the Mexican situation; 
but I have difficulty in thinking that to save her in- 
terests here, big though they be, England would ever 
do anything to jeopardize our friendship. In last week's 
Multicolor there was a picture of the White House, with 
England, Germany, and France in the act of painting it 
green. Poner verde is to insult. 

Huerta feels that he has the support of many foreign 
powers, especially of England. Sir L., by presenting 
his credentials the morning after the coup d'etat, stiffened 
him up considerably. 

November 8th. 

We have been busy these past two days. 'Mr. L. is 
a delightful guest, easy and simple. He goes to-morrow, 
but I am pressing him to return for Thanksgiving — if 
we are here. People smile when I speak of a Thanksgiv- 
ing reception. Three weeks is a long cry in Mexico City, 
in these days. 

N. finally ran Huerta down yesterday in the El Gloho 
cafe. He received the usual affectionate abrazo,^ and 
they had a copita together, but Huerta never men- 
tioned Lind any more than if he were non-existent, and 
shied off at the remotest hint of ** business.'* Instead, he 
asked N., ''How about the girls?" ("7 las muchachasV) 
g, phrase often used for opening or closing a conversation, 

*The abrazo has been described by some one as the "Oriental and 
scriptural embrace, whereby men hold one another for a moment and, 
bending, look over one another's shoulder." It is both dignified and 
expressive. 

41 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

in these climes, much as we would ask about the weather. 
It has no bearing on whatever subject may be in hand. 
The new elections are to be held on the 23d of this 
month. Huerta plays with the government in Washing- 
ton in a truly Machiavellian way. They want his resig- 
nation, but for the moment there is no recognized gov- 
ernment in whose hands to place such a resignation. 
After the 23d, if the elections bear fruit, he will find some 
other reasons for remaining. If it were not for the fact 
that might is always right, the Administration would be 
as the kindergarten class, in regard to this clever, in- 
volved, astute old Indian. "They say" he is getting 
rich, but there are no apparent signs. I don't think his 
mentality is that of the money-loving order, though 
possibly his principles would not prevent his making 
himself comfortable if he put his mind to it. He is now, 
however, so under the domination of his id^e fixe — pacifi- 
cation — ^in spite of the difficulties within and without, 
that I doubt if he is taking an undue interest in personal 
enrichment. 

November gth. 
This morning I began the day by telephoning von 
Hintze to come for lunch, as Mr. Lind wanted to see 
him informally. Then I went to the house of the Chilian 
charge, who died yesterday. He was laid out in the 
center of the little dining-room, the electric bell from the 
hanging lamp, which he must often have pressed while 
eating, dangHng over his poor, dead face. There is a 
quite particular sadness about the passing away of 
diplomats in lands distant from their own, their little 
span spun among the polite, but the unrelated and un- 
caring. I stayed for a rosary and litany, the priest, his 
pretty, childless wife, and myself, alone in the room. 
Great hangings of purple bougainvillaea, the glory of 
Mexico, darkened the window. May he rest in peace. 

42 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

There was interesting conversation at lunch, only 
we four being present. Mr. Lind repeated to von Hintze 
what he has, curiously enough, said to many people here 
— ^his opinion that the crux of the matter was the Anglo- 
American relations, and that the United States would 
never allow the dominance of British interests to the 
injury of American or Mexican ones; von Hintze, though 
he listened attentively, was non-committal and most 
diplomatic in his answers. It is always of absorbing 
interest to Germans to hear of possible difficulties be- 
tween England and other nations, and vice versa, too, for 
that matter. A light springs into the eye; and I dare 
say von Hintze made a report to his home government 
on returning to the Legation. He told Mr. Lind he 
thought we had not sufficiently respected the amour 
propre of the Mexicans; that we were wrong in trying 
threats when what they needed was skilful coaxing. 
Mr. Lind volunteered the surprising statement that it 
didn't suit us to have the elections held, anyway, as 
there would be concessions granted and laws passed that 
would render the Mexican situation difficult for us for 
fifty years. I really felt quite embarrassed. 

The Vera Cruz elections amused Mr. Lind consider- 
ably, the "urn" being a common pasteboard shoe-box 
with a slit in it. This objet de vertu he had actually 
seen with his own eyes. 

The town is wild over the bull-fight this Sunday after- 
noon. Belmonte, el fenomeno, just arrived from Spain, 
twenty-one years old, is the object of all affections. Po- 
litical matters are quite in abeyance. There was a 
scarcely subdued excitement among the servants as the 
gay throng passed the Embassy en route for the Ring, and 
considerable dejection this evening because all hadn't 
been able to stampede the house and hie them to 
the fray. They are like children; any disappointment 

43 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

seems the en4 of everything. A continual cloud of dust 
wrapped us ^bout, stirred up by the thousands passing 
in motor, carriage, or on foot. During my first Mexican 
sojourn J went to two bull-fights, but didn't acquire 
the taste, pe Chambrvm told me one had to go six 
times running, after which one couldn't be kept away! 

I saw Belmont e driving yesterday, the crowds cheering 
wildly. His expression of pride, yet condescension, dis- 
tinguished him as much as his clothes. He wore the 
usual flat black hat, showing his tiny pigtail, a wide- 
frilled shirt under a tight jacket which didn't pretenjj to 
meet the still tighter trousers, and he was covered with 
jewelry— doubtless votive offerings from adoring friends. 
And to-night he may be dead ! 

Bumside and Ensign H., of the Louisiana, who ac- 
companied Lind as body-guard, return with him to 
Vera Cruz. The Embassy is to engage a con^partment 
for him in the evening, but he will go in the morning. 
Just as well to be prepared against *' accidents." 

November nth. 

We lunch at the German Legation to-day, with Mr. 
Lind. He hasn't any clothes, but as he doesn't work 
along those lines I suppose it doesn't matter. There is 
no question of the tailor making this man, 

A heavenly, transforming sun, for which I am giving 
thanks, shines in at my windows. I am going out to do 
some "junking" with Lady C. With exchange three for 
one, every now and then some one does unearth some- 
thing for nothing. The Belgian minister, who has money 
and flair, riiakes the rnost astounding finds. He got 
for a song what seems to be an authentic enamel of 
Diane de Poitiers, in its original frame — a relic of the 
glories of the viceroys. 

Something that developed in a conversation with Mr, 

44 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Lind has been making me a bit thoughtful, and more 
than a Httle uneasy. He has the idea, perhaps the plan, 
of faciHtating the rebel advance by raising the embargo, 
4nd I am afraid he will be recommending it to Washing- 
ton. We had been sitting, talking, after dinner, shiv- 
ering in the big room over a diminutive electric stove, 
when he first tentatively suggested such action. I ex- 
claimed : ' ' Oh, Mr. Lind ! You can't mean that ! It would 
be opening a Pandora box of troubles here." Seeing how 
aghast I was, he changed the subject. But I cannot get 
it out of my head. The Mexican book is rolled out like 
a scroll before him; can it be that he is not going to 
read it? Any measures tending to undermine the cen- 
tral authority here, imperfect though it be, can only 
bring calamity. I witnessed that at first hand in the dis- 
astrous overturning of the Diaz rule and the installation 
of the ineffective Madero regime. I think Madero was 
more surprised than any one that, after having taken so 
much trouble to help him in, we took so little to keep 
him in. The diplomats are forever insisting that Diaz's 
situation in 1877 was analogous to Huerta's now, and 
that after a decently permissible delay of ten months, 
or whatever it was, we recognized him. So why not 
Huerta? He, at least, is in possession of the very deli- 
cate machinery of Mexican government, and has shown 
some understanding of how to keep it going. 

Later. 

The lunch at the German Legation was rnost interest- 
ing. Lind, Rabago, the Belgian minister, and ourselves 
were the guests. Rabago doesn't speak a word of Eng- 
lish, and Mr. Lind not a word of Spanish, so there was a 
rather scattered conversation. Everybody smiled with 
exceeding amiability — all to show how safe we felt on 
the thin ice. The colleagues are always very pohte, but 

45 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

none of them is really with us as regards our policy. 
Standing with von Hintze by the window for a few min- 
utes after lunch, I used the word intervention, and von 
Hintze said something about the unpreparedness of the 
United States for war. This, though true, I could not 
accept unchallenged from a foreigner. I answered that 
if war were declared, we would have a million men at the 
recruiting offices between sunrise and sunset. It sounded 
patriotic and terrifying, but it was rendered rather in- 
effective by his reply, "Men, yes, but not soldiers. 
Soldiers are not made between sunrise and sunset." He 
added something about the apparent divergence in public 
opinion in the States, and threw a bit of Milton at me in 
the shape of ''not everybody thinks they serve who only 
stand and wait." Ignoring this quotation from the 
blind bard, I said that whatever the divergence of pub- 
lic opinion might be before war, the nation would be 
as one man with the President after any declaration. 
I also told him we did not regard the Mexican situation 
so much as a military situation as a police and adminis- 
trative job, which we were unwilling to undertake. I 
then made my adieux, leaving the ''junta" in full 
swing, the Belgian minister's agile tongue doing won- 
ders of interpretation between Lind and Rabago. The 
result of the palaver, however, as I heard afterward 
from the various persons who took part, was nil. 

Mr. Lind keeps me on the qui vive by predictions of a 
rupture in the next few days. He is naturally becoming 
impatient and would like things to come to a head. I 
have not drawn a peaceful breath since landing. 

Rims on the banks to draw out silver in exchange for 
paper have compHcated matters. When I went this 
morning to the Banco Intemacional I saw people stand- 
ing at the paying-teller's desk, with big canvas bags in 
which to carry off silver. Since the law to coin more 

46 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

silver has been passed, I should say that each patriot 
intends to do his best to line his own cloud with that 
material. 

November 12th, 

A telegram came from Washington last night. Rup- 
ture of diplomatic relations unless Huerta accedes to our 
demands. N. has taken it to the Foreign Office, to 
Rabago and to Garza Aldape, to prove to them that, 
though they may not believe it, we are ready to take 
strenuous measures. It is all more like being on a vol- 
cano than near one. Neither the Mexican nation, nor 
any other, for that matter, believes we are ready and 
able to go to war; which, of course, isn't true, as we 
may be called upon to show. War is not, to my mind, 
anyway, the greatest of evils in the life of a nation. 
Too much prosperity is a thousand times worse; and 
certainly anarchy, as exemplified here, is infinitely more 
disastrous. We ourselves were ''conceived in wars, born, 
in battle, and sustained in blood." 

We hope the Louisiana went to Tuxpan last night, 
and that she will shell out the rebels there who are in 
full enjoyment of destruction of life and property. It 
would give them all a salutary scare. There are huge 
English oil interests there. The owners are all worried 
about their property and generally a bit fretful at the 
uncertainty. Will we protect their interests or will we 
allow them to? Our government gave warning that 
it would not consider concessions granted during the 
Huerta regime as binding on the Mexicans, It makes 
one rub one's eyes. 

Later. 

Things Mexican seem approaching their inevitable 
end. At three o'clock to-day N. showed Rabago the 
telegram from Washington about the probable breaking 
off of diplomatic relations. He turned pale and said 

47 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

be would arrange an interview with the President for 
six o'clock. At six o'clock N., accompanied by Mr. 
Lind, presented himself at the Palace. Neither President 
nor secretary was there. Rabago finally telephoned 
from some unknown place that he was looking for Huerta, 
but could not find him. Some one suggested that he 
might at that time be closeted with the only "for- 
eigners" he considered really worth knowing — Hennessy 
and Martell. 

Mr. Ivind came for a moment to the drawing-room to 
tell me that he leaves to-night at 8.15. He thinks we 
will be following him before Saturday — this being Wed- 
nesday. The continual sparring for time on the part of 
the government and a persistently invisible President 
have got on his nerves. He hopes, by his sudden depart- 
ure, to bring things to a climax, but climaxes, as we of the 
north understand them, are hard to bring about in Latin 
America. The one thing not wanted is definite action. 
Mr. Lind said, in a convincing manner, as he departed, 
that he would arrange for rooms for us in Vera Cruz. He 
knows it is N.'s right to conduct any business connected 
with the breaking off of relations, which he seems sure 
will be decided on at Washington, and he realizes that 
N. has borne the heat and burden of the Mexican 
day. He seems more understanding of us than of 
the situation, alas! I said Godspeed to him with tears 
in my eyes. Vague fears of impending calamity press 
upon me. How is this mysterious and extraordinary- 
people fitted to meet the impending catastrophe — this 
burning of the forest to get the tiger? 

An American citizen, Krauss, has been put without 
trial in the Prison of Santiago, where he has come down 
with pneumonia. N. has sent a doctor to him with 
d'Antin, who has been for years legal adviser and trans- 
lator tp the Embassy, and is almost, if not quite, el Mexj- 

48 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

can. They found the American in a long, narrow corridor, 
with eighty or ninety persons lying or sitting abotrt; 
there was scarcely stepping-room, and the air was hor- 
rible; there were few peons among the prisoners, who 
were mostly men of education — poHtical suspects. One 
aspect of a dictatorship! 

Garza de la Cadena, the man I wrote you about (who 
seized the priest at the altar and threw him into the 
street in Gomez Palacio), was shot yesterday, by his own 
rebels, for some treachery — a well-deserved fate. He 
was taken out at dawn near Parral, placed against an 
adobe wall, and riddled with bullets. 

This morning 1 was reading of the breaking off of our 
relations with Spain in 1898. Most interesting, and 
possibly to the point. History has a way of repeating 
itself with changes of names only. I wonder will the 
day come when N.'s name and Algara's figure as 
did General Woodford's and Polo de Bernabe's? Vari- 
ous horrors take place here, but no one fact, it seems to 
me, can equal the dwindHng of the population of the 
*' green isle of Cuba*' (indescribably beautiful as one 
steams along its shores), which dropped from 1,600,000 
to 1,000,000 in ten months — mostly through hunger. 
Mothers died with babes at their breasts; weak, totter- 
ing children dug the graves of their parents. Good 
God! How could it ever have happened so near to us? 
However, they are all safe — '^con Dios,'* 

Now we take a hurried dinner, at which Mr. Lind, 
Captain B., and Ensign H. had been expected, and then 
N. goes "big-game hunting" again. It bids fair to be a 
busy night. . 



Uncertain days — The friendly offices of diplomats — A side-light on ex- 
ecutions — Mexican street cries — Garza Aldape resigns — First official 
Reception at Chapultepec Castle — The jewels of Cortes. 

November ijth, 

THE President was not trackable last night, though 
N. kept up the search until a late or, rather, an ^rly 
hour. It certainly is an efficient, if not satisfactory, way 
of giving answer — ^just to subtract yotirself from the 
situation. 

N. will not present himself at the convening of Con- 
gress on Saturday, the 15th. His absence will make a 
big hole in the Corps Diplomatique. 

Several reporters were here early this morning to say 
they had positive information that Huerta had fled the 
country. But Mexico City as a rumor factory is un- 
excelled, and one no longer gets excited over the on 
dits. Moreover, nothing, probably, is further from 
Huerta's mind than flight. From it all emerged one 
kernel of truth : Mr. Lind had left for Vera Cruz with- 
out satisfaction of any kind. 

The Belgian minister came in yesterday just as Mr. 
Lind was leaving. He begged him not to go, to refrain 
from any brusque action calculated to precipitate a 
rupture that might be avoided. But I can't see that 
any one's coming or going makes any difference. The 
abyss is calling the Mexicans and they will fall into it 
when and how they please. 

I have gone so far as to tell Berthe to pack my clothes. 

SO 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

The things in the drawing-rooms I will leave — and lose 
if necessary. It would create a panic if any one came in 
and saw the rooms dismantled. No one can tell what is 
really impending. The American editor who remarked 
that what we take for an Aztec Swan Song is generally 
only another yelp of defiance is about right. 

The five days' siege of Chihuahua was ended yesterday 
by a Federal victory. The rebels lost about nine hundred 
men. The corpses of the latter were very well dressed, 
many wearing silk underclothing, the result of the looting 
of Torreon, which the rebels took several weeks ago. 
The Chihuahua victory will probably strengthen the 
provisional government if anything can. The generals, 
including Orozco, who fought against Madero, have been 
promoted. 

Night before last the train on the Inter-oceanic be- 
tween Mexico City and Vera Cruz was held up by rebel 
bandits for two hours. Everybody was robbed and 
terrorized. The rebels had in some way got news of the 
large export of bullion on the train. There was so much 
that they could not have carried it off, even if they 
hadn't been frightened in the midst of their raid by a 
hastily summoned detachment of Federals. If we depart 
I don't care to chaperon silver bars to the port. And 
N. says he would like Huerta to sit on the seat with him 
all the way down. 

I wonder if the government will be so huffed at the 
non-appearance of the American representative on 
Saturday that the Sabbath will see us on the way, with 
our passports? Probably men may come and men may 
go {vide Mr. Lind), coldness and threats may be tried 
on them, and they will continue to let everything go 
till the United States is actually debarking troops at 
the ports and pouring them over the frontier. Masterly 
inaction with a vengeance. 

SI 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

I have an idea that Washington is tiot in accord with 
Mr. Lind's impatience to end the situation by a rupture 
of diplomatic relatioliship. Once broken off, we would 
be faced by an urgent situation, demanding immediate 
action. Perhaps it is true that we are not efficiently 
ready for intervention, beside^ not wanting it. As long 
as N. stays the wheels will be oiled. 

November 14th. 

Last night the atmosphere cleared — for a while, at 
least. Congress will not be convened to-morrow, which 
puts quite a different aspect on things. If it had been 
held, Mexico would have been the only country, by the 
way, able to display a triplicate set of Congressmen, 
i. e., those in jail, those elected since the coup d'etat, and 
the last new ones. 

Sir L. called yesterday to offer his services. Great 
Britain knows she must be in accord with us. Many 
other colleagues also called, fearing some trouble when 
it was understood that N. was not to attend the opening 
and that the United States proposed to declare null and 
void any act of the Congress. Quite a flutter among the 
expectant concessionaires Beiges! It all had a very 
salutary effect. There is no use in any of the Powers 
trying to "rush " the United States, no matter what their 
interests on the Western Hemisphere. 

Later. 
President Wilson has decided to delay the announce- 
ment of his new Mexican policy. Incidentally, I told 
Berthe to unpack. Well, we will all be quiet until some- 
thing else turns up. Htmdreds of dollars' worth of cables 
went out from the Embassy yesterday, N. dictating fof 
hours and the cletks coding. Several of them are sleep- 
ing at the Embassy, anyway — so much night work that 
they are needed on the ground. 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

I am giving this letter to M. Bourgeois, the French 
constd-general, leaving on the Espagne, next week. He 
is an agreeable man of the world, who has just been 
assigned to Tientsin. 

Evening, lo d'cloch. 

Matters very serious. N. is to deliver to-night what 
is practically an ultimatum. He called up Manuel 
Garza Aldape, Minister of Gobernacion (Interior), and 
arranged for an interview with him at his house at nine 
o'clock. Then he rang up the ministers he needs as wit- 
nesses, to accompany him there. 

Von Hintze arrived first. When he had read the paper 
here in the drawing-room he said, after a silence, "lliis 
means war." (Some one had intimated such a possibility 
on Wednesday last, to Garza Aldape, and he had an- 
swered, quietly, ' * It is war. ' ') Von Hintze went on to say : 
**Huerta's personal position is desperate. Whether he 
fights the rebels in the north or the United States, it is 
disaster for him. Only, I fancy, he has less to lose in the 
way of prestige if he chooses the United States. His 
nation will make some show of rallying around him in 
this latter case." Von Hintze is persuaded that we are 
not ready for war, practically or psychologically. He 
kept repeating to N. : * ' But have you represented to your 
government what all this will eventually lead to?" N. 
answered "Washington is justly tired of the situation. 
For six months our government has urged and threatened 
and coaxed. It doesn't want any more useless explana- 
tions. It is too late." 

However, until the note is in Huerta's hands it is 
not official. So I still hope. Garza Aldape is one of the 
best of the ministers. 

I went with von Hintze and N. to the big front door 
and watched the motor disappear in the darkness. De- 
licious odors from the geraniums and heliotrope in the 
5 S3 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

garden enveloped the house, but after a moment I came 
back, feeling very still. The idea of American blood 
watering the desert of Chihuahua grips my heart. I can 
see those dry, prickly cactus stubs sticking up in the sand. 
No water anywhere! During the Madero revolution a 
couple of hundred Mexicans died there of thirst, and 
they knew their country. I kept looking about my com- 
fortable drawing-room, with its easy-chairs and photo- 
graphs, books and bowls of flowers, and saying to my- 
self : "So that is the way wars are made. ' ' This putting 
of another's house in order is getting on my nerves. 

The telephone has been ringing constantly. The jour- 
nalists have had indications from Washington that some- 
thing is impending. 

Saturday, November 15th. 

N. came in last night at half past twelve, after a 
three hours' conference with Aldape. He is to see him 
again at ten this morning. They say that the presence 
of Mr. Lind gives publicity to every step, that their 
national dignity is constantly imperiled, and that it is 
impossible to negotiate under such conditions. Aldape 
also said that Huerta flies into such a rage whenever 
Lind's name is mentioned that conversation becomes 
impossible. 

LaUr, 

Things are very strenuous to-day. N. saw Garza 
Aldape at ten. He said he had passed a sleepless night, 
after their conference, and had not yet presented the 
ultimatimi to Huerta. N. asked him if he were afraid 
to do so, and he answered, quite simply, ** Yes." N. told 
him he would return at three o'clock, and if by that 
time the note had not been presented through the reg- 
ular channels, he would do it himself. 

The outlook is very gloomy. Carranza in the north 
has refused the offices of W. B. Hale as mediator, saying, 

54 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

*'No foreign nation can be permitted to interfere in 
the interior matters of Mexico." If Carranza says that, 
certainly Huerta cannot say less. So there we are. 
Though nothing was further from his purpose, Mr. 
Lind has absolutely knocked any possible negotiations 
on the head by the noise and publicity of his arrival in 
the city of Montezuma and Huerta. The Latin-American 
may know that you know his affairs, and know that you 
know he knows you know; but he does not want and 
will not stand publicity. 

This morning I went out "junking" at the Thieves' 
Market with Lady C. It seemed to us that all the rusty 
keys in the world, together with all the locks, door- 
knobs, candlesticks, spurs, and family chromos were on 
exhibition. We were just leaving when my eye fell on 
a beautiful old blue-and-white Talavera jar, its metal 
top and old Spanish lock intact. After considerable 
haggling I ended by giving the shifty-eyed Indian more 
than he had ever dreamed of getting, and much less 
than the thing was worth. Drugs, sweetmeats, and valu- 
ables of various kinds used to be kept in these jars. 
Greatly encouraged, I dragged Lady C. to the Monte 
de Piedad. All foreigners as well as natives frequent it, 
hoping, in vain, to get a pearl necklace for what one 
would pay for a string of beads elsewhere. One of the 
monthly remates, or auctions, was going on, and the 
elbowing crowd of peons and well-dressed people, to- 
gether with the familiar Aztec smell, made us feel it 
was no place for us. The diamonds and pearls here are 
mostly very poor, and the great chunks of emeralds 
with their thousand imperfections are more decorative 
than valuable. The fine jewels of the wealthy class have 
come mostly from Europe, though shrewd buyers are 
on the lookout for possible finds in the constant turn- 
over of human possessions. There are beautiful opals 

55 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

to be had in Mexico, but you know I wouldn't touch 
one, and the turquoise has been mined from time im- 
memorial. The museums everywhere are full of them 
as talismans and congratulatory gifts, to say nothing of 
the curio-shops. 

Cortes, it appears, was very fond of jewels, and was 
always smartly dressed in fine linen and dark colors, with 
one handsome ornament. When he went back to Spain 
he set all the women crazy by the jewels he took with 
him. Emeralds, turquoises, gold ornaments, and pana- 
ches of plumes of the quetzal (bird of paradise) cunningly 
sewn with pearls and emeralds, after the Aztec fashion, 
were distributed with a lavish hand. The presents for 
his second wife were so splendid that the queen became 
quite jealous, though he had made her wonderful offer- 
ings. It is hinted that this was the beginning of his dis- 
favor at court. 

November 17th. 

Yesterday, which began so threateningly, ended with- 
out catastrophe. On opening the morning newspaper, 
I saw that Garza Aldape had resigned. He finally pre- 
sented the American note to Huerta, with the result 
that he also presented his own demission and leaves 
almost immediately for Vera Cruz, to sail on the Espagne 
for Paris, where, it is rumored, he will be minister in 
place of de la Barra. Anyway, it is his exit from 
Huertista politics. He is a gentleman and a man of 
understanding. The way Huerta has of dispersing his 
Cabinet is most unfortunate. 

Yesterday there was another little luncheon at Tlal- 
pam. We sat in the beautiful, half-neglected garden 
till half past four among a riot of flowers in full bloom, 
callas, violets, roses, geraniums, and heliotrope on every 
side. The two white, distant volcanoes crowned as ever 
the matchless beauty of the scene about us. 

S6 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

What the diplomats are fearing in the event of N.*s 
withdrawal is the interregnum after our departure and 
before the American troops could get here. They foresee 
pillaging of the city and massacre of the inhabitants; 
as their natural protectors, the Federal troops, would be 
otherwise occupied, fighting "the enemy" — i. e.y us! 
They always say Washington would be held respon- 
sible in such an event, by the whole world, but this 
thought does not seem to comfort them much. The 
ineradicable idea among all foreigners is that we are 
playing a policy of exhaustion and ruin in Mexico by 
non-recognition, so that we will have little or no diffi- 
culty when we are ready to grab. One can talk one- 
self hoarse, explain, embellish, uphold the President's 
policy — it makes no difference: **It is like that." 

We came home after I had shown myself with Elim 
at the Country Club on our way in. People are in a 
panic here, but no one has heard anything from me 
except that I expect to receive on Thanksgiving Day 
from four to eight. The telephones are being rung all 
day by distracted fathers and husbands, not knowing 
what to do. They cannot leave their daily bread. 
They are not men who have bank accounts in New 
York or in any other town, and to them leaving 
means ruin. They come with white, harassed faces. 
"Is it true that the Embassy is to be closed to-night?" 
"What do you advise?" "It is ruin if I leave." 
"Can't we count on any protection?" are a few of the 
questions asked. 

Dr. Ryan, the young physician who did such good 
work during the Decena Tragica last February, is here 
again. He has been in the north these last months, 
where he saw horrid things and witnessed many exe- 
cutions. He says the victims don't seem to care for 
their own lives QV for any one's else. They will stand up 

57 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

and look at the guns of the firing-squad, with big round 
eyes, like those of deer, and then fall over. 

As I write I hear the sad cry of the tamale-women, 
two high notes, and a minor drop. All Mexican street 
cries are sad. The scissors-grinder's cry is beautiful — 
and melancholy to tears. 

I was startled as I watched the faces of some con- 
scripts marching to the station to-day. On so many was 
impressed something desperate and despairing. They 
have a fear of displacement, which generally means catas- 
>trophe and eternal separation from their loved ones. 
They often have to be tied in the transport wagons. 
There is no system about conscription here — the press- 
gang takes any likely-looking person. Fathers of fam- 
ilies, only sons of widows, as well as the unattached, are 
enrolled, besides women to cook and grind in the powder- 
mills. Sometimes a few dozen school-children parade 
the streets with guns, escorted by their teachers. Un- 
ripe food for cannon, these infants — but looking so 
proud. These are all details, but indicative of the situ- 
ation. , 

November i8th. 

To-morrow Huerta and his senora are to receive at 
Chapultepec, the first time they will have made use of 
the official presidential dwelling. They are moving from 
the rented house in the Calle Liverpool to one of their 
own, a simple enough affair in the Mexican style, one 
story with a patio, in an unfashionable quarter. 

As we are still "accredited," I think we ought to go, 
there being no reason why we should offer to Sefiora 
Huerta the disrespect of staying away. 

When we arrived in Mexico, beautiful Dofia Carmen 
Diaz was presiding; then came Sefiora de la Barra, 
newly married, sweet-faced, and smiling; followed by 
Senora Madero, earnest, pious, passionate. Now Senora 

55 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Huerta is the "first lady" — all in two years and a half. 
The dynasties have a way of telescoping in these climes. 

The invitation to the opening of Congress to-morrow 
has just come in — exactly as if the United States had 
not decided that no such Congress should be convened 
and its acts be considered null and void. 

Elim told me to-day that all the children he plays with 
have gone away — ''afraid of the revolution," he added, 
in a matter-of-fact voice. He expects to die with me if 
**war" does come, and is quite satisfied with his fate. 

The details of Garza Aldape's demission have come in. 
His resignation was accepted by Huerta in the friendli- 
est manner. He concluded the conversation, however, 
by telling Aldape the Espagne was sailing on Monday, 
and that he had better leave on Sunday morning, so as 
to be sure not to miss it. This being late Saturday eve- 
ning, Garza Aldape demurred, saying his family had no 
trunks. The President assured him that he himself 
would see that he got all he needed. Subsequently he 
sent Aldape a number of large and handsome receptacles. 
Madame G. A. received a hand-bag with luxurious fit- 
tings, and 20,000 francs oro in it! The ''old man" has a 
royal manner of doing things on some occasions; and 
then again he becomes the Indian, inscrutable, unfath- 
omable to us, and violent and high-handed to his own 
people — whom he knows so very well. 

The reception at Chapultepec, yesterday, was most 
interesting. As we drove through the Avenida de los 
Insurgentes up the Paseo toward the "Hill of the Grass- 
hopper" the windows of the castle were a blaze of light 
high up against the darkening sky. 

On our last visit to Chapultepec,^ Madero and Pino 
Suare2^ were there, and shades of the murdered ones be- 

* Chapultepec — ^from the Aztec words chapuUn (grasshopper) an4 
Upeil (hill). 

S9 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

gan to accost me as I appeared on the terrace. One of 
the glittering presidential aides, however, sprang to give 
me his arm, and in a moment I was passing into the 
familiar Salon de Embajadores, to find Senora Huerta in- 
stalled on the equally familiar gilt-and-pink brocaded 
sofa placed across the farther end. She has been a very 
handsome woman, with fine eyes and brow, an4 has 
now a quiet, dignified, and rather serious expression. 
She was dressed in a tight-fitting princess gown of red 
velvet, with white satin guimp and black glace kid gloves. 
She has had thirteen children, most of whom seemed to 
be present on this, their first appearance in an official 
setting. The daughters, married and unmarried, and 
their friends receiving with them, made quite a gather- 
ing in themselves. As I looked around, after saluting 
Senora Huerta, the big room seemed almost entirely 
filled with small, thick-busted women, with black hair 
parted on one side over low, heavy brows, and held 
down by passementerie bandeaux; well-slippered, very 
tiny feet, were much in evidence. None of the ** aristo- 
crats'* were there, but el Cuerpo, was out in full force. 

The President came at about six o'clock, walking 
quickly into the room as the national air was played, and 
we all arose. It was the first time I had seen him. N. 
presented me, and we three stood talking, in the middle 
of the room, while everybody watched ''America and 
Mexico." 

Huerta is a short, broad-shouldered man of strong 
Indian type, with an expression at once serious, amiable, 
and penetrating; he has restless, vigilant eyes, screened 
behind large glasses, and shows no signs of the much- 
talked-of alcoholism. Instead, he looked like a total ab- 
stainer. I was much impressed by a certain underlying 
force whose momentum may carry him to recognition 
— ^now the great end of all. 

60 



U({jypi^y ^l^^yC^Tl^U /S^y 



/ 









j^ 






A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

I felt myself a bit "quivery'* at the thought of the 
war-cloud hanging over these people, and of how the man 
dominating the assembly took his life in his hands at his 
every appearance, and was apparently resolved to die 
rather than cede one iota to my country. After the usual 
greetings, "a los pies de Vd. senora^^ ("at your feet, 
senora"), etc., he remarked, with a smile, that he was 
sorry I should find things still a little strained on my 
return, but that he hoped for a way out of the very nat- 
ural difficulties. I answered rather ambiguously, so far 
as he is concerned, that I loved Mexico and didn't want 
to leave it. I felt my eyes fill over the potentialities of 
the situation, whereupon he answered, as any gentleman, 
anywhere in the world, might have done, that now that 
la senora had returned things might be arranged! After 
this he gave his arm to Madame Ortega, wife of the 
Guatemalan minister, the ranking wife of the Spanish 
minister being ill, and Madame Lefaivre not yet arrived. 
Sefior Ortega gave me his arm, and we all filed out into 
the long, narrow gallery, la Vitrina, overlooking the city 
and the wondrous valley, where an elaborate tea was 
served. The President reached across the narrow table 
to me to touch my glass of champagne, as the usual 
saltides were beginning, and I found he was drinking to 
the health of the ''Gran Nacidn del Norte.'* Could I do 
less than answer "Viva Mexico"? 

After tea, music — the photograph fiends taking mag- 
nesium snap-shots of Senora Huerta and the dark-browed 
beauties clustering around, with an incidental head or 
arm of some near-by diplomat. Madame Ortega then 
got up to say good-by, and after making our adieux we 
passed out on to the beautiful flower- and palm-planted 
terrace. Again, in the dim light the memory of Madero 
and Pino Suarez assailed me rather reproachfully. 
It was a curious presentment of human destinies, 

6i 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

played out on the stage of the mysterious valley of 
Anahuac, which seems often a strange astral emanation 
of a world, rather than actual hills and plains. A mys- 
terious correspondence between things seen and unseen 
is always making itself felt, and now, in this space be- 
tween two destinies, I felt more than ever the fathom- 
lessness of events. Other "kings" were dead, and this 
one could not "long live." 

Afterward we played bridge at Madame Simon's with 
the chicheria there assembled. It seemed very banal. 
All the guests, however, turned their handsome faces and 
rustled their handsome clothes as I entered, and in a 
detached sort of way asked how it had all gone off — this, 
the first official reception of their President. 

To-day Congress opens, and N. does not attend. I 
am glad, in the interests of the dove of peace, that we 
went to the reception yesterday. The officials will realize 
there is nothing personal in to-day's absence. 

Last night there was a pleasant dinner at the Gardens', 
who are now settled at the comfortable Legation. They 
are very nice to us, but I feel that Sir L. is naturally 
much chagrined at the unmeritedly adverse press com- 
ments he has had in the United States. We all shivered 
in our evening dresses, in spite of the rare joy of an 
open fire in the long drawing-room. There is a thin, 
penetrating, unsparing sort of chill in these November 
evenings, in houses meant only for warm weather. 
I should have enjoyed wearing my motor coat instead of 
the gray-and-silver Worth dress. 

The British cruiser squadron under Admiral Cradock 
sailed last night for Vera Cruz, which is packed to over- 
flowing with people from here. The prices, "twelve 
hours east and a mile and a half down," are fabulous. 
One woman, so her husband told me, pays ten dollars a 
day at the Diligencias for a room separated only by a 

62 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

curtain from an electric pump, which goes day and 
night. 

Villa has made a formal declaration that, owing to Car- 
ranza's inactivity, he assumes the leadership of the rebel- 
lion, which is the first, but very significant, hint of two 
parties in the north; Huerta is very pleased, it appears, 
and is looking forward to seeing them eat each other up 
like the proverbial lions of the desert. A few *'lost illu- 
sions" will doubtless stalk the Washington streets and 
knock at a door or two. 

Well, another Sabbath has passed and we are still 
here. Burnside is up from Vera Cruz. He says we 
can't back down, and war seems inevitable. It will 
take the United States one hundred years to make 
Mexico into what we call a civilized country, during 
which process most of its magnetic charm will go. The 
Spanish imprint left in the wonderful frame of Mexico 
is among the beauties of the universe. Every pink belfry 
against every blue hill reminds one of it ; every fine old 
fagade, unexpectedly met as one turns a quiet street 
comer; in fact, all the beauty in Mexico except that of 
the natural world — is the Spaniards' and the Indians'. 
Poor Indians! 

I have been reading accounts of the deportation of the 
Yaquis from Sonora to Yucatan, the wordless horrors of 
the march, the separation of families. I can't go into 
it now ; it is one of the long-existent abuses that Madero, 
at first, was eager to abate. Volumes could be written 
about it. Another crying shame is the condition of the 
prisons. Belem, here in town, is an old building erected 
toward the end of the seventeenth century, and used as 
an asylum of some kind ever since. Much flotsam and 
jetsam has been washed up at its doors, though I don't 
know that the word "washed" is in any sense suitable. 
When one thinks that a few hundred pesos' of bichloride 

63 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

of lime and some formaldehyde gas would clean up the 
vermin-infested comers and check the typhus epidemics, 
one can scarcely refrain from taking the stuff there one- 
self. It seems so simple, but it is all bound up so inex- 
tricably with the general laisser -oiler of the nation. No 
one is in Belem three days without contracting an itching 
skin disease, and a large proportion of the prisoners 
there, as well as at Santiago, near by, are political, jour- 
nalists, lawyers, et al., who are used to some measure of 
cleanliness. The Penitenciaria is their show prison, 
built on modem principles, and compares favorably with 
the best in the United States. 

Yesterday we lunched with the Osi-Sanz. He is an 
agreeable, clever, musical Hungarian, married to a hand- 
some young Mexican, widow of an Iturbide. In their 
charming rooms are many Maximilian souvenirs that he 
has ferreted out here; big portraits of the emperor and 
Carlota look down from the blue walls of the very artis- 
tic salon, and a large copy of the picture of the deputa- 
tion headed by Estrada, which went to Miramar to offer 
Maximilian the imperial and fatal crown. Vitrines are 
filled with Napoleon and Maximilian porcelain, and 
they have some beautiful old Chinese vases. In the 
viceregal days these were much prized, being brought 
up from the Pacific coast on the backs of Indian 
runners. Afterward, we had bridge at the Corcuera- 
Pimentels — another smart young Mexican manage. Their 
house, too, is charming, full of choice things, beauti- 
fully and sparingly placed; the rooms would be lovely 
anywhere. Then home, where I looked over that de- 
pressing book, Barbarous Mexico. 

In Huerta's speech before Congress on the 20th, he 
makes use of the famous words of Napoleon — **The law 
is not violated if the country be saved. ' ' We all wondered 
how he fished it up ! 

64 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

There is a cartoon reproduced in The Literary Digest, 
which I am sending you. In it Uncle Sam is saying to 
President Wilson, "It's no use, Woody; you can't pet a 
porcupine," the porcupine being Huerta, in the back- 
ground, sitting near a bit of cactus. Some London 
papers call Huerta the "Mexican Cromwell.'* His 
speech, putting patriotism and morality above expedi- 
ency, evidently made a hit. 



VI 

"Decisive word" from Washington — A passing scare — Conscription's 
terrors — Thanksgiving — The rebel advance — Sir Christopher Cradock 
— Huerta's hospitable waste-paper basket. 

November 28th. 

AN exciting day. The long-looked-f or * ' decisive ' * word 
-**• came from Washington this morning, to be com- 
municated this evening to every embassy and legation 
in Europe. By to-night all the foreign representatives 
here and the press will be informed. It states that we 
will not recede one step from our position; that Huerta 
and all his supporters must go; that we will isolate him, 
starve him out financially, morally, and physically; 
that revolution and assassination may come to an end 
in Latin America; that we will protect our interests and 
the interests of all foreigners, and that peace must be 
made in Mexico, or that we will make it ourselves! 
It is the argumentum ad hominem certainly, and we can 
only wait to see what acrobatic feats to avoid the blow 
will be performed by Huerta. The language is unmis- 
takable and could only be used because the miHtary 
force necessary is behind it and ready. 

November 2Qth. 

Well, the scare of yesterday has passed. * * * 
* * * Now the Foreign Office here can do more 
masterly ignoring! 

Last month, on the 25th, Huerta signed a decree 
increasing the army to 150,000; the work of conscrip- 

66 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

tion has been going on at a great rate. After the bull- 
fight on Sunday seven hundred unfortunates were 
seized, doubtless never to see their families again. Once 
far from Mexico City, they are not bright about getting 
back. At a big fire a few days ago nearly a thousand 
were taken, many women among them, who are put to 
work in the powder-mills. A friend told me this morn- 
ing that the father, mother, two brothers, and the sis- 
ter of one of her servants were taken last week. They 
scarcely dare, any of them, to go out after dark. Post- 
ing a letter may mean, literally, going to the cannon's 
mouth. 

In "junking" the other day I found an interesting 
old print of the taking of Chapul tepee by the Americans, 
September, 1847, which I have fitted into a nice old 
frame. I am keeping it up-stairs. I went to the Red 
Cross this morning for the first time since my return. 
They all greeted me most cordially and said N. was 
''muy amigo de Mexico'' ("very much a friend of Mex- 
ico"). I shall take Wednesdays and Saturdays for my 
service. 

! To-morrow is Thanksgiving. I am receiving for the 
Colony and such of the chers colUgues as care to help 
wave the Stars and Stripes. It will be a sort of census 
of how many Americans are really left in town. Their 
number is fast dwindling. 

Yesterday was a busy day. I went to mass at San 
Lorenzo, where the nice American rector gave a very 
good Thanksgiving sermon. I rarely go there, except 
on some such occasion. It is far from the Embassy, and, 
though once in the best residential part of the city, it 
is now invaded by a squalid Indian and mestizo class. 
With the exception of San Lorenzo, which is very clean 
(the American church, as it is called), the churches in 

67 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

that quarter strike a most forlorn note, with their silent 
belfries and dirt and general shabbiness. 

About two hundred came to the reception yesterday, 
and I only wish all had come. I really enjoyed shaking 
those friendly hands. The times are uncertain, and ruin 
for many is probable at any moment. The rooms were 
filled with flowers; I had a nice buffet and a good, 
heady punch. Elim was dressed in immaculate white. 
He made one shining appearance, and then reappeared 
ten minutes later, his radiance dimmed, having been 
sprinkled accidentally by the nice Indian gardener. 
He was reclad, but some over-enthusiastic compatriot 
gave him a glass of punch, and the rest of the afternoon 
I seemed to see little legs and feet in the air. The 
chefs de mission all came also, but of course it was an 
American day, the beloved flag flying high and catching 
the brilliant light in a most inspiring way. 

Clarence Hay (John Hay*s son) is down here with 
Professor Tozzer and his bride, for archaeological work. 
They first appeared on the horizon yesterday, the at- 
mosphere of a less harassed world still hanging around 
them, and were most welcome. Tozzer is professor of 
archaeology at Harvard and has mapped out work here 
until May, in connection with the Museo Nacional. The 
Toltec and Aztec treasures still hidden in the earth 
would repay any labor. 

We fly up and down the Paseo constantly. I think 
there is the fastest and most reckless motor-driving in 
the world in Mexico, but some divinity is sleepless and 
there are few accidents. Jesus, our chauffeur, is a gem 
of good looks, neatness, willingness, competency, and skill. 
When he is told to come back for us at half past eleven, 
When we are dining out, and he has been on the go all 
day, he not only says **good," but *'very good," with a 
flash of white teeth and dark eyes. The rest of the 

68 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

servants are so-so. If I thought we were going to stay 
I should change the first man. He ought to be the last, 
as he is not only a fool, but an unwilling one. As it is 
he who is supposed to stand between me and the world, 
I am often maddened by him. He is Indian, with a dash 
of Japanese, not a successful mixture in his case, though 
he is supposed to be honest. 

November 2QtK 

I haven't taken a census of the inhabitants of the 
house. Several of the women, I know, have children 
living with them, but a little unknown face appeared at 
a door yesterday, and was snatched back by some un- 
identified hand. They don't produce them all at once, 
but gradually. 

We had a white bull-terrier given us seven weeks 
old, Juanita by name. It has threatened to rain dogs 
here since it became known that we wanted one^ but I 
have avoided all but two since returning. Elim looks 
sweet playing with her, two little milk-white young things. 
But Juanita's stock is low. She tries her teeth on any- 
thing that is light-colored and soft, especially hats, and 
faces now stiffen at her approach. 

A bit of a domestic upheaval this morning. The In- 
dian butler with the dash of Japanese has been dis- 
missed, or, rather, has dismissed himself. His was a 
case of total inefficiency and bad temper. I gave him a 
recommendation, for, poor fellow, he had seen his best 
days under the Stars and Stripes. The press-gang will 
get him., and he will doubtless soon be on the way to the 
north. I am to have a new butler on Monday. 

Later. 

I have just been going over the map with Captain 

Bumside, and we have been tracing the slow and sure 

advance of the rebels. They are down as far as San 

Luis Potosi, not more than fourteen hours from here. 

6 69 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

They manage to isolate the Federal detachments, one 
after the other, cutting the railroad lines in front and 
in the rear. There is a good deal of that northern march 
where one can go a hundred kilometers without finding 
a drop of water. 

I was reading Mme. Calderon de la B area's letters — 
1 840-1 842 — last night. She was the Scotch wife of the 
first Spanish minister after the Mexican independence, 
and her descriptions of political conditions would fit to- 
day exactly, even the names of some of the generals re- 
peating themselves. She speaks of ''the plan of the Fed- 
erals," ''the political regeneration Of the Republic," 
"evils now arrived at such a height that the endeavors 
of a few men no longer suffice," "a long discussion in 
Congress to-day on the granting of extraordinary powers 
to the President," "a possible sacking of the city." ... 
Our history here. She goes on to say that they (the bri- 
gands) are the growth of civil war. Sometimes in the 
guise of insurgents taking an active part in the inde- 
pendence, they have independently laid waste the coun- 
try. As expellers of the Spaniards these armed bands 
infested the roads between Vera Cruz and the capital, 
ruined all commerce, and without any particular inquiry 
into political opinions robbed and murdered in all direc- 
tions. And she tells the bon mot of a certain Mexican: 
"Some years ago we gave forth cries — gritos (referring to 
the Grito de Dolores of Hidalgo). That was in the in- 
fancy of our independence. Now we begin to pronounce, 
pronunciamos (a pronunciamiento is a revolution). 
Heaven only knows when we shall be old enough to speak 
plainly, so that people may know what we mean." 

December 2d. 

I go in the afternoon to a charity sale at Mrs. Adams's, 
for the "Lady Cowdray Nursery Home." Mr. A. is the 

70 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Cowdray representative of the huge oil interests in 
Mexico. It sometimes looks as if this whole situation 
could be summed up in the one word, "oil." Mexico 
is so endlessly, so tragically rich in the things that the 
world covets. Certainly oil is the crux of the Anglo- 
American situation. All the modern battle-ships will be 
burning oil instead of coal — clean, smokeless, no more 
of the horrors of stoking — and for England to have prac- 
tically an imlimited oil-fount in Mexico means much 
to her. 

We had a pleasant dinner last night here — Clarence 
Hay, Mr. and Mrs. Tozzer, and Mr. Seeger; the dinner 
itself only so-so. Mr. Seeger's suggestion that the 
guajolote had been plied with grape- juice rather than 
with something more inspiring was borne out by the 
bird's toughness, and there were strange, unexplained 
intervals. However I impressed upon C. H. that I was 
giving him this splendid fiesta because his father had 
signed N.'s first commission (to Copenhagen), and the 
time passed merrily. There are other things you can do 
at dinner besides eating, if you are put to it. 

I inclose a long clipping, most interesting, from Mr. 
Foster's Diplomatic Memoirs. He was minister here 
for some years — 1873-1880, I think. His relations, too, 
of conditions at that time seem a replica of these in our 
time: "The railroad trains always contained one or 
more cars loaded with armed soldiers. The Hacendados 
did not venture off their estates without an armed guard 
and the richest of them lived in the cities for safety. 
Everybody armed to the teeth when traveling and the 
bullion-trains coming from the mines were always heavily 
protected by guards." Mr. Foster sets forth the actions 
of the United States in delaying recognition of Diaz when 
he assumed the Presidency, and tells of the various mo- 
ments in which we were on the brink of war with Mex- 

71 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

ico. In 1875, Congress conferred on Diaz "extraordi- 
nary faculties," the effect of which was to suspend the 
legislative power and make him a dictator. 

N. paid over the Pius Fund, yesterday — the indemnity 
of 45,000 pesos that Mexico is forced to pay yearly to 
the Catholic Church in California for confiscation of its 
property about one hundred years ago. It was the first 
decision of the Hague Tribunal. Archbishop Riordan, 
when consulted about the manner of paying it, tel- 
egraphed to Mr. Bryan that he left it in N.'s hands 
to be disposed of as if it were his own. N.'s policy 
has been to get the various foreign powers to appeal to 
us for protection of their citizens, thus tacitly acknowl- 
edging our "Monroe" right to handle questions that 
came up. So far France, Germany, Spain, and Japan 
have done so. 

December 3d. 

Yesterday, at four o'clock, Sir Lionel and Sir Christo- 
pher Cradock were announced. When I went down- 
stairs, a few minutes later, I found my drawing-room a 
blaze of afternoon sun, setting off to perfection twice 
six feet or more of Royal British navy — Sir Christopher 
and his aide, Cavendish, resplendent in full uniform. 
They had just come from calling on Huerta in state, at 
the Palace. I was really dazzled for the first moment. 
Sir Christopher is a singularly handsome man, regular of 
feature, and of distinguished bearing. His aide, equally 
tall and slender, a younger silhouette of himself, was 
standing by his side. Britannia resplendens! Sir Chris- 
topher was evidently very interested in seeing, at first 
hand, the situation he is to "observe" from the vantage 
of Vera Cruz. After a lively half -hour he v/as borne off 
by Sir L. for visits at the legations, and comparative 
darkness fell upon the room. As we are all dining at the 
German Legation, where there is a gala dinner for him 

72 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

and the captain of the Bremen and his staff, we merely 
said au revoir. 

December 4th, 
The dinner last night for twenty-four was most bril- 
liant, and perfectly appointed, from the lavish caviar 
on beds of ice to the last flaming omelette en surprise. 
We sat at the small ends of the table, Madame Lefaivre 
on von Hintze's right, and I on his left; Sir Lionel by 
me, and Sir Christopher by Madame Lefaivre; Lady 
Carden, handsomely gowned and jeweled, at the other 
extreme end, with the next ranking men on either side. 
Sir C, just opposite to me, was glistening with decora- 
tions and shining with the special, well-groomed, Eng- 
lish look. I asked him if he hadn't been afraid to come 
over the rebel-infested mountains with so much tempta- 
tion on his person. He answered, as a forceful, sporting 
look came into his eyes, ''They wouldn't get the chance 
to keep anything of mine!" ^ 

It is impossible to talk politics ; things are too delicate 
and I imagine we all have rather a shifty look in the eye 
at the remotest mention of la situacion. I can see, 
however, that Sir C. has been impressed by Huerta, and 
would probably have liked to tell him to "keep it up." 
I wore my filmy black and my pearls, which combina- 
tion seemed to give pleasure. After dinner, and some 
conversation with the captain of the Bremen, who, how- 
ever great his merit, didn't have the clothes nor the dis- 

* Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock went down with his flag-ship, the 
Good Hope, when it was sunk in the naval engagement off Coronel, Nov. i, 
1914. In the gathering darkness of the tropical ocean, the moon just rising 
over a heavy sea, a great explosion was observed, according to Admiral 
Count Spec's report, between the funnels of the Good Hope, on which 
numerous fires had already broken out. Shortly afterward she went down 
in a great blaze, with her colors flying. God alone knows the many acts of 
heroism there were performed. But I know that Sir Christopher Cradock, 
going to his death in flame and water, did so with a calm spirit and a com- 
plete readiness to die — pro patria. — E. O'S. 

73 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

tinction of Sir C, we played bridge — Sir C, Lady Car- 
den, Hohler, and myself. Sir C. won every rubber in a 
nice, quiet way. He lunches with us to-morrow at Cha- 
pultepec restaurant; von Hintze and his officers, unfor- 
tunately, are already engaged for a Colony lunch. 

Evening, 

A full day. Red Cross work from ten till twelve, 
then home to change — ^not only my dress, but the scent 
that hung round me — to go to Chapultepec. Sir C. and 
Cavendish, somewhat dimmed by being in plain clothes," 
drove up to the restaurant just as I was getting out of 
the motor, the Belgian minister, Mr. Percival, and the 
Cardens coming a few minutes later. We had espied 
Huerta's auto in the Park, and I had the bold idea of 
getting the President for lunch, knowing it would render 
things spicy for Sir C. Heaven was watching over me, 
however, for instead of stopping at the restaurant for 
one of the famous copitas, Huerta passed through the 
Park, disappearing in the direction of Popotla. 

It was ideal lunching on the veranda, bathed in the 
warm, scented air, talking of many things, and climes, 
with the easy exchange of thoughts that is the pleasure 
of people of the world. Sir C. said that he had spent 
most of his time changing his clothes, since his arrival, 
having come with nothing between full uniform and 
morning coat. He had been to the Foreign Office that 
morning in uniform, into civilian for lunch, was to dress 
at three for some sort of function at the Palace, and then 
change to visit the castle of Chapultepec and the cadet 
school attached. He had accompHshed all these labors 
when at six we met again at Madame Simon's for bridge. 
His roving seaman's eye lighted up and seemed very 
appreciative of the bevy of handsome young women he 
found there. Again, with * ' Cradock's luck, ' ' he raked the 

74 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

shekels in. He said the visit to Chapultepec and the 
cadet school was a most thorough proceeding, and that 
he was spared no crack or cranny of the school, of which, 
however, the Mexicans are justly proud. 

There is a reception at the Legation for the English 
colony to-night, and to-morrow early he descends to the 
sea. Sir C. has distinguished himself in many climes 
and will, I imagine, get a bit restless at Vera Cruz, wait- 
ing for something to happen. He directed the British, 
American, Japanese, and Italian forces for the relief of 
Tientsin. He has yet to learn that no outside force can 
hurry events in Latin America. They happen from their 
own momentum, in their own way. I have an idea he is 
a full-fledged Huertista, but, oh! so nice about it all. 
He is ranking officer to Admiral Fletcher, which might, 
at any moment, make complications. How can Brit- 
tannia rule the waves in the sacred territorial waters of 
the Monroe doctrine? But it is always the same. On all 
international occasions our admirals find themselves 
outranked, even by navies of inferior powers. The 
highest rank our officers on active duty can attain is 
rear-admiral. They bring up the rear in more senses 
than one, while all other forces have vice-admirals and 
admirals available for any little trips that seem expedi- 
ent. 

December 5th. 

I am sending this off by the German boat Ypiranga, 
We have given up going to Vera Cruz on Saturday. 
People say that it is impossible for us to do so without 
creating a panic. No one would really know that we 
had left a hostage in the shape of the blue-eyed boy. I 
felt rather in the mood to go, after the visit of Sir Chris- 
topher, who painted the harbor of Vera Cruz in most 
attractive colors. 

Huerta is gradually getting rid of his Cabinet. Garza 

75 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Aldape, Gobernacion, went, as I wrote you, and now 
de Lama (Hacienda) is to go to Paris by the Ypiranga. 
I don't imagine Huerta has much to do with his Cabinet. 
They fill up certain conventional spaces usual in govern- 
ments, and that is all — a sort of administrative furniture, 
along with the tables and chairs. Burnside said to-day 
that when Huerta really has a Cabinet meeting it con- 
sists of himself and advisers in the shape of copitas. He 
has just got full powers from ** Congress" to put into ef- 
fect any orders he may give in military and naval matters 
for the next year. He pays no attention to Washington 
and it is rather difficult to do anything with a person who 
acts as if you were non-existent. The ultimata con- 
tinue to go into the waste-paper basket, and Vera Cruz 
is so full of war-ships that those yet to come will have to 
stay outside the harbor. The Rhode Island, the Suffolk, 
and the Cond6 have the best places available for the big 
ships. The rest of the harbor is taken up with gunboats. 



VII 

Huerta visits the Jockey Club — Chihuahua falls — "The tragic ten days" 
— Exhibition of gunnery in the public streets — Mexico's "potential 
Presidents"— "The Tiger of the North." 

December 6th. 

THE position here gets more curious every day. 
Public opinion, as we understand it, is non-existent 
in Mexico. It is always some despot who brings some 
sort of order out of chaos by means unknown (though 
they may be suspected) to the public, who judge his 
worth entirely by the degree of peace and prosperity 
that follows. 

N. was sitting with some of the males of the ** First 
Families'* of Mexico, in the Jockey Club, this morning, 
when in sailed Huerta. He knew none of the jeunesse or 
viellesse doree. He stood looking around him for a mo- 
ment, blinking as he suddenly came into the light. 
N. espied him, went over to him, and then made the nec- 
essary presentations, Huerta hanging on his arm. After 
the first shock of his entrance there was a rallying around 
him. He doesn't belong to the club, but that, of course, 
doesn't make any difference to him; he feels himself 
President and superior in brain, will, and achievement. 
N. ordered copitas, and the visit went off with the snap 
peculiar to all of Huerta's sorties. After all, he is their 
President. 

I send you a copy of Life, with an editorial on Mexico. 
It remarks that, asking the Mexicans (13,000,000 being 
Indians) to elect a President by constitutional methods 

77 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

is "like asking the infant class to select a teacher." 
There is no doubt that our ways don't yet fit them. It's 
like dressing sonny up in father's clothes! 

Another military train blown up. We were all hoping 
that the rumored shortage in dynamite among the rebels 
would make railway travel more attractive. Also stories 
of mutilations that cause one to shiver. 

The reason some of the newspapers give for the almost 
groveling attitude of the Powers, and their acquiescence 
in our exclusive tutelage in Mexico, is that, according to 
international law, we will be responsible for the millions 
they are losing, and that, at the appointed hour, they 
intend to press Uncle Sam with the bill — the French, the 
English, the Germans, and the Spaniards. 

Lunch to-day at the French Legation. Very pleasant, 
as always. I sat next to Corona, governor of the Fed- 
eral District, a handsome, highly colored, dark-eyed man 
in the prime of life. His wife and daughter are in Paris. 
There is such a sense of the transitoriness of the officials 
in Mexico, here to-day and gone to-morrow, that inter- 
course seems very bootless; the sword of Damocles is 
not only hanging, but falling all the time. May was also 
there, as pessimistic and politically wrought up as usual. 

My big salon begins to look very home-like. I have 
some lovely lamps made of single, big, brass-and-silver 
church candlesticks, many exquisite Ravell photographs 
of this marvelous land finally fitted into good old frames. 
I had the smart young Mexican set in for bridge to-day. 
They were asked for five, which is a little early for them, 
and they didn*t begin to arrive until six. Lovely young 
women with beautiful jewels and dresses to set off their 
dark beauty; Sefiora Bemal, Sefiora Amor, Sefiora Cor- 
cuera, Duquesa de Huette (her husband is a handsome, 
polo-playing Spaniard), Sefiora Cervantes, Sefiora Riba 
— two or three of them enceinte, as is usual. They made 

78 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

the rooms quite radiant. The Mexican men are often 
put in the shade by their handsome wives, who would be 
lovely anywhere. The difficulties of bringing up young 
boys here are, for obvious reasons, so great that both 
Mexicans and foreigners send their sons away at an 
early age. The men we know have most of them been 
at school in England (Beaumont, or Stonyhurst) ; and 
their English is as good as ours — sometimes better. 
There is a sort of resigned irritation, veiled by perfect 
courtesy and unfailing amiability, on the part of these 
people toward our policy, which seems to them cruel, 
stupid, and unwarranted. I can only hope it will soon 
bear testimony to itself, for this close watching of the 
means to an end — if it be an end — is very wearing. 

December 8th. 

A very nice letter came from Mr. Lind this morning. 
He says that Villa boasts he will eat his dinner at the 
Jockey Club, and he thinks there may be something in it, 
adding that if it had not been for the progress of the reb- 
els he would have gone home. Chihuahua is in their 
hands now, and their military man is installed in the 
house formerly occupied by the Federal governor of the 
state. 

Last night I had a long talk with Bumside and Ryan 
after dinner. There is a general expectancy of a cuarte- 
lazo (revolution in the barracks) on the loth. The troops 
are paid every ten days, and this will be the second pay- 
day to be passed over, unless Huerta can raise the neces- 
sary millions before that time. Many influences besides 
the United States are at work to make things uncertain; 
sedition is rife, and the work of the press-gang is so con- 
stant that the peons do not dare to leave their homes or 
their holes to go to work. 

Revolutions are not convenient, either for those who 

79 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

watch or for those who participate. The hegira of 
natives and foreigners continues. The Mexicans who 
can get away are, without doubt, thankful ** there is no 
place like home." 

I can't agree that the foreign representatives could 
be, at any time, in real peril. Huerta, Carranza, Zapata, 
Villa, or the intervening United States troops would see 
to it that not a diplomatic hair was touched. I can 
imagine us all tightly housed in the Palacioy with our 
infants and our jewels, the rest of our belongings gone 
forever. Dr. R. is for having every woman and child 
leave Mexico City, things have come to such a pass. I 
know one who won't go I 

N. is thinking of telegraphing to Washington to ask to 
have a few marines sent up from one of the war-ships, en 
civil, of course. We could lodge them easily down-stairs. 
The losing of material things does not disturb me. When 
the bad day comes we will be occupied with life and 
honor. *'Todo por la patria'' ("all for one's country"), 
which reminds me of the story of Huerta 's parting with 
a one-time Minister of War, and one of the various men 
supposed to have witnessed Madero's death. (Another 
distinction is, that in six weeks' office he was able to 
amass a fortune of some millions, quite a record.) The 
President told him, at a dinner, casually, that it might be 
better for his health to leave next day for Paris. He 
cried, ** Impossible !" The upshot, of course, was that 
Huerta saw him off at the station at the appointed hour, 
saying, as he embraced him: ''Todo por la patria, mi 
General!'' whereupon the victim, not to be outdone, re- 
peated in his turn: ''Todo por la patria, mi General!'* 

People have curious stories to tell of the ''tragic ten 
days," among them little ways of handling the machine- 
guns. Ryan came across a group of men who were hov- 
ering about one of the mitrailleuses, and the man in 

§0 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

charge obligingly started it off, to show them how it 
worked — shooting down the street in the direction in 
which it happened to be turned. Rather debonair! Mr. 
Seeger tells the tale of asking a man at a gun who his jefe 
was — Huertista, Maderista, Felicista? He answered, 
**I don't know." He saw him, a moment afterward, 
turn the gun around and shoot toward the opposite bar- 
ricade. Enemy or friend, it was all the same to that 
"man behind the gun!'* 

December 7th. 

I was at Tacubaya this morning, to see the operation 
and cure for tuberculosis of a strange Brazilian, a 
Dr. Botelho. Rows of emaciated Indians, stripped to 
the waist, were lying or sitting in the sun. The opera- 
tion is a painless injection of hydrogen gas into the lung, 
compressing it so that microbes, as my lay mind under- 
stands it, don't get the space they need to develop. As 
the patients lay about they seemed to me like exotic 
vegetation, ready to drop to earth, rot, and spring up 
again. Strange Indian seed ! 

After Mass I found Colonel and Mrs. Hayes (the for- 
mer a son of ex- President Hayes) , waiting to see us. They 
are here for a few days only. I have asked them to dine 
with us to-morrow evening. 

The foreign Powers used to think that, though ex- 
tremely annoying, our Monroe doctrine was respectable. 
Now they seem inclined to think it is an excuse for mon- 
opolizing the New World for our own benefit. We may 
come into Mexico with glory. Can we get out with 
credit and not too high a bill? A letter from General 
Wisser (you remember him, from Berlin) came just now, 
written "In Camp, Texas City." It had taken a little 
matter of two months to get here. It is not impossible 
I may welcome him to Mexico City. 

81 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

December gth. 

The aftermath of that reception at Chapultepec has 
begun to come in. Among many letters, one from an 
ex-army officer says he would have "thrown the wine 
into Huerta's face." All the newspapers mention the in- 
cident, but with the empire tottering we saw no reason to 
unduly precipitate matters by boycotting Mme. Huerta's 
reception, nor for being morose and brutal when there. 
I wonder what would have happened if any of the 
various fools, writing to protest, had been running 
matters? 

One of the New York newspapers prints a long editorial 
headed ' ' O'Shaughnessy, " saying President Wilson is for- 
tunate in having had the services of Mr. O'S. during the 
diplomatic negotiations with Mexico. It presents the 
matter as I would like, and winds up by saying that the 
history of Mexican-American diplomacy, to be complete, 
would need more than one chapter headed "O'Shaugh- 
nessy." 

The dinner for Colonel and Mrs. Hayes was rather 
amusing, though the food was horrid and everything was 
cold except the champagne. After dinner the visit of 
two potential Presidents of Mexico (they are always be- 
ing drawn to the Embassy like steel to the magnet of 
recognition) gave a decided touch of local color to the 
scene. A large, handsome, alert man, of the flashy type 
— Zerafino Dominguez — came first. His battle-cry and 
banner is ' ' Land for the landless, and men for the men- 
less lands" — a good, sound, agricultural cry with every- 
thing in it, if it could only come true. ''El apostol del 
maiz,'' as he sometimes is called, is a wealthy landowner 
and scientific farmer, who contends that Mexico needs 
more corn rather than more politics — and never was a 
truer word spoken. He has within the last few days, 
however, given up his presidential pretensions to a friend 

82 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

who came in later, with the same desire of the moth for 
the star. 

The shape of the friend's head, however — narrow across 
the forehead and terminating in a high peak — would 
prevent his getting any votes from me. The pale young 
son of the hearty Dominguez was also there. I offered 
them cigarettes and copitas; the latter they did not 
accept. Bumside said it was to prove they hadn't the 
weaknesses of Huerta. I thought they might be afraid 
to drink, remembering afterward that none of us had 
offered to partake with them of the possibly poisoned 
draught. They sang the praises of the great and beauti- 
ful Estados Unidos del Norte till we were quite embar- 
rassed. Incidentally "ze American womans" came in 
for a share of admiration. I wonder shall we be giving 
Huerta asylum some day? 

December nth. 

Yesterday I was too busy to write; spent the morning 
at the Red Cross, and then had luncheon at Coyoacan, at 
Mrs. Beck's charming old house. Coyoacan is the most 
interesting, as well as livable, of all the suburbs, with its 
beautiful gardens and massive live-oaks shading the 
streets. Cortes made Coyoacan his stamping-ground, 
and one lovely old Spanish edifice after the other recalls 
his romantic history. 

From here he launched his final assault against Mex- 
ico City; here poor, noble Cuauhtemoc (I have an old 
print representing him with his feet in boiling water and 
an expression of complete detachment on his face) was 
tortured, in vain, to make him reveal the hiding-place 
of Montezuma's treasure. After leaving Mrs. B.'s, Mrs. 
Kilvert and I went for a stroll in the garden of the cele- 
brated Casa de Alvarado, built by him, of the famous leap. 
An old servidor of Mrs. Nuttall's, to whom the house now 
belongs, opened the gate for us, with a welcoming 

83 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

smile. We passed through the patio, in one corner of 
which is the old well (with a dark history connected with 
the murder of the wife of one of the Conquerors), out 
into the garden with its melancholy and mysterious 
charm. The possession of the house is supposed to bring 
bad luck to the possessors, and sudden and violent 
death has happened to a dweller there even in my time. 
Roses and heliotrope and the brilliant drapeaux Espa- 
gnoleSj with their streaks of red and yellow, were running 
riot, and a eucalyptus-tree drooped over all. In this 
magic land, even a few months of neglect will transform 
the best-kept garden into some enchanted close of story. 

As I was getting out of the auto in front of the Em- 
bassy, I found sitting on the curb a pitiful family of five 
— ^four children of from seven years to eighteen months, 
and the mother, who was about to have another child. 
The father had been taken by the press-gang in the morn- 
ing, and they were in the streets. I gave the woman some 
money, and one of the maids brought out bread and cake, 
and a bundle of garments for the children. Such bright- 
eyed Httle girls, real misery not having pinched them 
yet. I speak of them because they typify thousands of 
cases. A hand on his shoulder, and the father is gone 
forever! Such acts, occin-ring daily, estrange possible 
sympathy for the government. The woman will return 
to me when the money is spent. 

There are Federal rumors of a split between Villa and 
Carranza, but, though they will inevitably fight, I don't 
think the time is ripe for it, and they are some five hun- 
dred kilometers apart, which makes for patience and 
charity. Villa, whose latest name is the "Tiger of the 
North," has made such daring and successful military 
moves that Carranza must put up with him. He has 
just married again, during the sacking of Torreon (a 
detail, of course, as was also his appearance at a ball in 

84 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

puris naturalibus — a shock to the guests, even in revo- 
lutionary Mexico!) 

I only heard at luncheon at the Russian Legation that 
Count Peretti, conseiller of the French embassy in 
Washington, is leaving for Paris to-night, by the Na- 
varre. He married when en poste here a handsome Mexi- 
can wife. This letter goes with him. On Saturday we 
dine at Lady Garden's. The dinner is given for Colonel 
Gage, the handsome and agreeable British military 
attache d cheval between Washington and Mexico City. 

The fight around Tampico continues, the town being 
indeed "between the devils and the deep sea." No one 
yet knows the outcome, except that the unoffending 
blood of the Mexican peon is reddening the soil. The 
Kronprinzessin Cecilie is down there to take off refugees; 
also the Logican, and we are sending the Tacoma and the 
Wheeling. I understand that, though some hundreds 
have been taken on board, about five hundred unfortu- 
nates are still waiting on the pier in the neutral zone. 

I must begin to arrange my Christmas tree for the 
few friends remaining in this restless, distant land, with 
some little gift for each. 

December I2th. 

To-day is the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the 
patroness of Mexico and of all the Lupes. For the 
last few days the mysterious Indian world has been 
hurrying to the shrine from far and near. I went out 
there this morning with dear Madame Lefaivre and Mr. 
de Soto. The crowd was immense, the same types, cos- 
tumes, habits, language, gestures, even, that Cortes 
found on his arrival, unmodified (and unmodifiable, 
which Washington cannot understand) by four hundred 
years of surrounding civilization. Our motor gliding 
along the straight road was quite out of the note and 
picture. Many of the Indians were doing the distance 
7 85 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

between the city and Guadalupe, several kilometers, on 
their knees, with bowed heads and folded hands. Ma- 
dame Lefaivre found it trds-beau, but was glad that no 
voice told her that to save her soul, or, what is more 
important, her Paul's soul, she would have to do likewise. 

The plaza before the church was thronged with a 
brightly clad, motley crowd, venders of all sorts pre- 
dominating, mostly selling candles and votive offerings 
of strange kinds. Hundreds of tortilleras were sitting on 
their haunches before their primitive braziers, piles of 
dough (masa, they call it) in their laps, molding the 
tortillas with a slapping noise of the palms — an old, 
inherited gesture, and pinching them into shape with 
their slender, graceful fingers. The church itself, as we 
pressed in, was crowded to suffocation, almost every one 
holding a candle of some length and thickness. The 
high altar was a blaze of light, the celebrated image 
above visible to all. It is the famous Imagen de la Virgen, 
stamped miraculously on the tilma (coarse cloth mantle) 
of a lowly Indian, Juan Diego, as the Virgin appeared to 
him passing the rock of Tepeyac on his way to Tlaltelolco, 
to receive instructions in the mysteries of the Faith. 
The sacred image is placed above the high altar in a 
gold frame, and there is a gleaming, solid silver stair- 
railing leading up both sides. 

In the middle aisle were double files of young Indian 
girls, with bright-colored scarfs about their shoulders, 
and strange, high, picturesque-looking head-dresses, of 
gaudy tissue-paper, with trimmings of gold. They were 
chanting monotonous minor songs, accompanied by a 
swaying, dance-like movement of the hips — all most rev- 
erent. They had been there for hours and showed no 
sign of leaving. I hope I said a reverent prayer, but I 
felt a bit cheap in contrast to the rapt devotion on all 
sides. I was glad to get a breath of fresh air in the plaza, 

86 



f 




A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

or rather, "fresher," as it was almost as crowded as the 
church, and every dog in Mexico seemed to be there, 
scratching and shaking itself. 

We made our way, Mr. de Soto clearing a path for us, 
to the Capilla del Pocito. These waters are said to have 
gushed from under the feet of the Virgin as she appeared 
to Juan Diego. A la the fountain of Trevi, whoever 
drinks of it returns to Mexico. We didn't drink, for 
various reasons unconnected with return. The Indians 
use it for healing purposes and a lively trade in brightly 
painted, earthem-ware bottles, in which to carry the 
water away, was going on about the chapel. The Indi- 
ans come, sometimes a many days' journey, on foot, 
of course, and when they arrive they bivouac all about 
the church as if they had reached *'home." What with 
babies crying, beggars begging — ''por la Virgeit,'' ''por 
la Santa Madre de Dios'* — dogs yapping and venders 
hawking, the whole dominated by the acrid smell of the 
various pungent messes they roll up in their tortillas, it 
was, indeed, Indian life at its flood. They must have pre- 
sented much the same scene when they gathered to re- 
ceive instruction and baptism from the old friars. 

The "Aztec wheels" (merry-go-rounds) and all kinds 
of games of chance, to which they are addicted, help to 
get the centavos out of the Indian pocket; but it is 
their greatest holiday, this journey to their "Virgen In- 
dia de Tepeyac," and they count no cost of fatigue and 
savings. I only hope the press-gang will abstain to-day 
from doing any of its deadly work of separating fami- 
lies. You remember I once did a novena out there with 
Seiiora Madero, praying for graces that Heaven did not 
grant. 

In the afternoon we went to the Reforma Club, the 
British country club, where Sir Lionel and Lady Carden 
were to present the prizes for the contests. Senora 

87 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Huerta, always dignified and quiet, sat between Lady C. 
and myself. She had a married daughter with her, high- 
chested and thick-lipped, clad in a changeable green-and- 
red surah silk and a hat with bedraggled pink feathers. 
Seiiora Huerta herself wore black velvet, with touches of 
white in the wrong places. She has, I imagine, natural 
taste in dress, but must first learn. She has seen much 
of life. So many children and a soldier husband always 
starting for some seat of war, and now at last President 
of "glorious, gory Mexico," means that few of the 
human experiences are foreign to her. I must say I have 
a great esteem for her. The President was not well — 
el estomago. Of course every one jumps to the conclusion 
that he had been consorting too freely with his friends 
Martell and Hennessy. It isn't given to kim to have a 
simple indigestion ! Afterward we left cards at the houses 
of various Lupes. 

December 13th. 

1 feel ill at the news this morning. The Federals seem 
to have taken many positions from the horrible rebels; 
and the fratricidal war will take on a new strength with- 
out hope of issue on either side. I feel the cruelty and the 
uselessness of our policy more and more every day. 
The "fine idealism" does not prevent the inhabitants 
from being exterminated. Why don't we come in? 
Or — ^hands off, and give Huerta a chance! 

The Mexicans have never governed themselves, and 
there is no reason to suppose they can till a part of the 
eighty-six per cent, that can't read have at least learned to 
spell out a few words. The much vaunted and pledged 
rights of man, voting and abiding by the results, are 
unknown and, as long as Mexico is Mexico, unknowable. 
So why lose time in that search for the impossible? 
The rebels seem to be able to take the towns, but not to 
hold them. Once in the various strategical positions 

88 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

they are in the same plight as the Federals; and so the 
see-saw continues, with no results except horrors be- 
yond words. I am tempted to hope for intervention 
(unnecessary though it once was), no matter what the 
cost. 

There are so many plays and puns and doggerels on 
the inviting name of O'Shaughnessy. One Shamus 
O'S. says he won't admit the man in Mexico who bears 
the Frenchy name of charge d'affaires to the family! 
However, why worry? The last viceroy bore the noble 
name of Juan O'Donoju! Another calls N. the man that 
put the ''O" in Mexico. And they do love a head-line : 
"Hugged by Huerta"; or ''Is it not better to be kissed 
than kicked when you deliver the periodical ultimatum?" 
Of such slender things fame is made. 

December 14th. 

My poor woman with the four children returned yes- 
terday, having got to the end of the money I gave her 
a few days ago. They didn't look quite as prosperous ( ?) 
as they did the first time I saw them. The mother asked 
for five dollars for a fruit license and two dollars to get 
the fruit. I gave it to her, whereupon she knelt down 
in the street, baby in arms, the three other little girls 
following suit, and asked for my blessing. When I put 
my hand on her head I felt the tears come to my eyes. 
I suddenly saw in one woman all the misfortunes of the 
women of this land, separation, destitution, ravishments, 
— all the horrors flesh is heir to. 

In the evening we dined at the British Legation. 
Colonel Gage is most agreeable and brought a lot of 
outside news. Like all military visitors, I suppose he 
is hoping to happen on a ''scrap.'* 

Am waiting for the auto. Elim and I go out to the 
del Rios' garden at Tlalpam for a picnic; the del Rios 
are in Europe. The day is heavenly beyond compare 

89 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

and the Ajusco hills (in which the Zapatistas operate) 
are soft and blue in the near distance. We all miss Mr. 
James Brown Potter very much. He was the witty, 
unfailing life of all those picnics of my first Mexican 
visit. 

Villa has just set up a somewhat uncertain dictator- 
ship in Chihuahua, in which state he, so to speak, 
graduated in banditry. He began his public killing 
career not too badly, according to the story, by shooting 
a man for seducing his sister. It was probably the best 
act of his life. He is now in the prime of life and ** ready 
for anything." Even in Diaz days, Villa was a pro- 
scribed bandit; but with a few followers, well-mounted 
and knowing every trail and water-hole in the country, 
he was uncatchable. He subsequently went over to 
Madero. The women flee the towns that he and his 
men enter. I suppose there is no crime that he has not 
committed, no brutality toward wounded, sick, and 
prisoners and women. With it all, he may be the 
heaven-bom general that some assert, but God help 
Mexico if he is! In Chihuahua, Luis Terrazas, one of 
the nephews of Enrique Creel (who was ambassador to 
Washington, Minister for Foreign Affairs, etc.), is being 
held for five hundred thousand dollars ransom. Mr. C. 
came to see N. the other day, looking very much put out. 
N. thought he perhaps reflected that five hundred thou- 
sand dollars was a large sum, and was wondering if it 
was worth it. 

However, it is always convenient to suppose that 
people held for ransom will get along all right, even if 
the money isn't forthcoming. N. promised Mr. C. that 
through the most indirect of channels he would have it 
brought to Villa's attention that he'd better be careful 
on account of unfavorable impressions in the United 
States. One wonders and wonders where Villa, Aguilar, 

90 



I 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Zapata, and all the brigands get their endless guns and 
ammunition. Of course the foreign Powers think we 
supply it or let it be supplied. 

Intervention in Mexico is an accomplished fact, it 
would almost seem, though not a shot has been fired 
by us. And what is done cannot be undone. 



VIII 

The sad excxlus from Chihuahua — ^Archbishop Mendoza — Fiat money — 
Villa's growing activities — Indian stoicism — Another Chapultepec re- 
ception — ^A day of "Mexican Magic" in the country. 

December 14th. 

THIS evening, as I was coming through the Zocalo 
motoring home from the Country Club, I found the 
Palacio decked out in the national colors, to celebrate the 
clausura of the Camara, which will not open until April i, 
1 9 14. Huerta has all extraordinary powers vested in 
himself, and is going to run the whole "shooting-match." 
Thick defiUs of carriages and autos, full of richly dressed 
people, were on both sides of San Francisco, the most 
brilliantly, extravagantly lighted street I know. The 
Embassy motor was allowed to run quickly between the 
two lines. The town seemed so animated and prosper- 
ous that one can't realize the horrors underneath. 

The cantinas have been closed on Sunday for several 
months — a wise act of Urrutia, then Minister of Gober- 
nacion. The people thus buy food, instead of pulque ^ on 
the Sabbath, and can work on Monday — San LuneSy as 
the first, often idle, day of the week is called. The pul- 
queriaSy with their sickening, sour smell, abound in all the 
poorer quarters, and are distinguished, besides the smell, 
by fringes of many-colored tissue-paper hanging from the 
tops of the doors. Their names — El amor divino, Hija 
del Maty El Templo de Venus , etc., seem to be enticing. 

The Italian minister, Cambiaggio, is ''biding a wee" 
in Havana, having been stopped by his government, , , , 

92 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

It is the question, always recurring, of not having a new 
minister arrive who, by presenting his credentials, places 
another stone in the Huerta arch. . . . 

The confidential report of Admiral Cradock to his 
government was filched by the press. The typewriter 
who made the copy was paid $200 for it. In it, it ap- 
pears, he quotes Nelson as saying that the "most sacred 
international relationship in the world is that between 
England and the United States." Most annoying for 
Sir Christopher! 

December 15th, 

Many of the American statesmen seem to be giving 
opinions on the Mexican situation. Mr. Choate, at a 
dinner in New York, asks, "What most agitates the 
hearts of Americans to-day? It is Mexico," and then 
goes on to say, "There is but one thing for us to do — 
trust the President, and stand by him." Andrew D. 
White doesn't approve of the Administration's policy 
and thinks we are drifting into war, "Which," he con- 
tinues, "is a better thing for the generals who bring it 
to a successful finish than for those who bring it on — 
Lincoln being the great exception." 

The Spaniards in Chihuahua (some four or five hun- 
dred) are having a dreadful time. The Villista order 
gives them ten hours in which to get out of the town; 
and now, as I write, that long caravan of weak and strong, 
old and young, fit and unfit, is wending its way, on foot, 
through the immense desert of Chihuahua toward Tor- 
reon— 42 5 miles. The nights are icy cold and there are 
stretches of 90 miles without water; and hostile bands are 
ready to attack at any moment. The confiscated prop- 
erty will amount to millions, as the Spaniards own nearly 
all the mercantile establishments, as well as the upper- 
class homes. Vilja is quoted as saying that he would like 
to kill every ^achupin (Spaniard bom in Mexico) and 

93 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

his offspring. No one knows when the march and as- 
sault on Monterey, a rich old city on a hill and not easy 
to take, will begin. I hear that the Spaniards there want 
to come en masse to Mexico City, also leaving every- 
thing. They know they will have no quarter at Villa's 
hands. 

The Spaniards are the traders of Mexico. They keep 
the countless pawn-shops (empenos) ; they are the 
usurers and money-lenders of all kinds; they are the 
overseers on the haciendas and, incidentally, they keep 
all the grocery-shops; in fact, they control the sale of 
nearly everything in Mexico. The Spanish minister 
(with the Irish name of Cologan), whose handsome wife 
was born in Vera Cruz, has just been here. His life is 
one huge burden, and the collective troubles of Mexico 
are laid at our broad doors. 

D' An tin leaves to-night for Vera Cruz, to take with 
him Dr. Silva (ex-governor of Michoacan), who, to tell 
the truth, has not voluntarily resigned, which is the 
reason he needs safe-conduct. Silva was at one time a 
faithful adherent of Huerta. He is to board a Spanish 
ship sailing at twelve to-morrow. 

December i6th. 

Last night, after dinner, Bumside and Dr. Ryan took 
the map to see what route the unfortunate Spaniards of 
Chihuahua could have followed. It seems scarcely cred- 
ible, with the frontier and hospitality nearly one-half 
nearer, that they should have chosen the terrible march 
through the desert and over the mountains to Torreon, 
which, at any time, may again fall into Villa's hands. He 
would be in a rage to find he had to bother a second time 
with the same set of unfortunates ! They say their route 
is strewn with valuables that they started out with and 
little by little were obliged to abandon. Isn't the pic- 
ture appalling? 

94 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Von Hintze has just spent an hour here; he is always, 
like the others, advocating the mediation of The Hague, 
saying it would be a way out of our dilemma, and an issue 
out for Huerta. Is he on the track of something that 
may be of service to both sides? In Washington a couple 
of weeks ago it was suggested from some source (probably 
Brussels) that the matter should be so submitted — both 
sides, however, resenting it. Von Hintze brought me 
a dainty, gold-headed cane to replace his handsome 
Chinese stick that was supposed, unjustly, to have dis- 
appeared under the protection of the Stars and Stripes, 
on Thanksgiving Day. I made up my mind to get that 
cane, and I subsequently found it, accidentally, standing 
near the unused umbrella-stand at the Norwegian Le- 
gation, where he had left it himself that same day. The 
innocent was, for once, rewarded. Von Hintze is always 
very fair-minded and impersonal in political matters, and 
doesn't lose his head when the poHtical compass veers 
as wildly as it does here. He is a good friend, too, I 
think, and there may be something in the Hague sug- 
gestion. We may, at any day, see another faction start 
up; the victor of Torreon, Juarez, and Chihuahua will 
not care to lay his victories at Carranza's feet. One man 
after another outshines his chief, commits treason, 
comes to power, and falls to make way for some one else, 
generally a one-time friend. As the clever editor of the 
Mexican Herald dryly remarked, "A traitor in Mexico 
seems to be any one that doesn't hold office.'* 

The Zapatistas are getting very active again, fighting 
hard at Milpa Alta, in the Ajusco hills near here. Some 
were seen at Tlalpam and Xochimilco (Tlalpam is where 
we often go on Sundays) . Sometimes on the road to the 
Country Club or Tlalpam one hears the shooting. 

All is quiet again at Tampico, though the dead are yet 
lying about unburied. The rebels got far into the town, 

95 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

but did very little damage to property. They wanted, 
people think, to get hold of a lot of the rolling stock of 
the railway. Tampico is a horrible, fiat, mosquito- 
infested, malarial place, but it can give to the navies of 
the world the motive power that they want. It is the 
focus of the guerre des petroles. Is it really true that oil 
is at the back of all these tragedies? 

At the dinner at the British Legation on Saturday 
there was an Englishman, a Mr. Graham, who has a place 
near Durango. He told, as an eye-witness, the story I 
had heard before, of one of the rebel chiefs seizing the 
aged and saintly archbishop Mendoza while at the altar, 
forcing him to walk two miles over stubble fields, in the 
heat of the day, then putting him in a damp and filthy 
cell, two feet by six. Mr. Graham gave a bond for 
$15,000, and he was got out. This is but one of a 
thousand stories to the shame of the rebels. 

December 17th. ^ 

Villa has finished the confiscation of the huge Terrazas 
estates in Chihuahua. We hear that the wife of the 
American consul, Mrs. Letcher, is among the refugees 
at El Paso. The Terrazas estates include palatial resi- 
dences in the city of Chihuahua, banks, mines, lands, 
cattle, etc. Luis Terrazas is now a refugee in the United 
States. His sister, known as the ** Angel of Chihuahua," 
by reason of her endless charities, married Mr. Creel, for- 
mer Ambassador to Washington. It is Mr. Terrazas's 
eldest son who is held against a 500,000 pesos* ransom, 
having been taken forcibly from the British Vice-Con- 
sulate. 

Yesterday the run on the Banco Nacional and the 
Banco de Londres y Mexico for the exchange of certain 
bank-notes, no longer good, was enormous. Many shops 
are hanging out signs that notes pf Chihuahua, Coa- 

96 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

huila, Queretaro, Guanajuato, etc., will not be accepted 
from customers. The richer refugees coming in from 
Chihuahua had hundreds of thousands of such. Oh, for 
a few wicked cientificos! 

A lot of trouble about the Constitutionalist fiat money 
is beginning in the north. Merchants who fight shy of it 
are put into jail, regardless of nationality. Its appear- 
ance, to a careful, thrifty man, must be appalling. Bills 
have only one signature, and any one holding them forges 
the missing signatures, or the nearest and most inter- 
ested jefe politico affixes the stamp of his jefatura. The 
drawback is that it is difficult to get merchandise or food 
in exchange. When is money not money? That way 
lies economic ruin. 

Huerta talks a good deal about Napoleon these days — 
**gran homhre, gran kombreF' ("a great man! a great 
man!"). In a recent speech he said: "We have a right 
to our independence, and we will keep it. If any attack 
is made against the country, all will witness something 
great and extraordinary." Villa, Carranza, Huerta 
(Zapata, too, the chance offered) , delight in ignoring the 
United States. On that point, all are united. The re- 
covery of Torreon has had immense, though, of course, 
only temporary, economic importance. The huge cotton 
crop which Villa picked when he took the town, pressing 
into service every man, woman, and child, and thinking 
to sell it to the United States, has been shipped by the 
Federals to various cotton-mills, and means work for 
thousands. 

There are sometimes really bright things in the Mexi- 
can Herald. To-day, about the United States protection 
of citizens, it says: *'Mr. Bryan's idea of protection 
seems to be built on the cafeteria plan — come and get 
it. We don't carry it to you." 

Cambiaggio, the new Italian minister, will be de- 

97 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

tained indefinitely in Havana, Italian affairs in the mean 
while being in the hands of the British. I wonder how 
long the foreign Powers will be willing to wait and watch. 
What they say about our policy when N. and I are not 
present is probably not according to the protocol! 

December 17th. 

Another reception is to be held at Chapultepec this 
afternoon. I keep thinking of the four incumbents who 
have lived and breathed and had their being there since 
we arrived — Diaz, de la Barra, Madero, and Huerta. 
With the exception of the first two, each lived in a sep- 
arate society. The members of one don't spill over 
into the other. At Sefiora Huerta's reception there was 
not a face, except those of the chers collegues, that I had 
ever seen there before — no homogeneity, no esprii de 
corps. ''No me gusta'' ('*! don't like it") seems a suf- 
ficient reason for not standing by the administration, 
whatever it may be. 

It is strange how little trace is left of thosfe who have 
lived there, suffered, and grown great. There is scarce- 
ly a Maximilian souvenir or a Diaz recuerdo, not a thing 
of de la Barra, nor any vestige of Madero, except his 
planchette and his library, consisting of vegetarian and 
spiritualistic literature, which confronts Dona Carmen 
Diaz's collection of works of piety. Of course there is 
nothing of Huerta; his shadow has scarcely even dark- 
ened it. It was planned in a most extravagant way in 
1783 by one of the viceroys, Galvez, who had the beauti- 
ful, white-skinned, red-haired bride. It was unoccupied 
during many revolutionary years, then refitted for Maxi- 
milian. Later Diaz used it as his summer residence. Poor 
Madero lived there during the sixteen months of his in- 
cumbency, and I remember him pacing up and down 
the terrace in that robin-egg-blue vest of his, with a vis- 

98 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

ionary but indestructible smile on his honest face ; really 
mentally, as well as bodily, lifted above all the realities 
of life. 

The "Hill of the Grasshopper'* has always had a hab- 
itation on it. Montezuma lived there, ''king and gentle- 
man," and many of the old ahuehuetes^ are supposed to 
be contemporaneous with him. At any rate, the view 
that entrances my eyes is the same that his looked on. 
The whole valley stretches out before one, fringed by 
those lovely mountains. Sunsets, sometimes in golden 
tones and sometimes in silver, flood the valley, giving the 
white points of the volcanoes the most dazzling effects of 
light imaginable; and then there are luminous enchant- 
ments, dissolving distances, an intermingling crystalline 
blue and rose. How can I express its beauty! People 
say the light is more wonderful in Greece, but this is my 
' ' high light. ' ' Even in the afternoons of the rainy season, 
when the clouds are banked high, there is always an iri- 
descence to the grays — gray with red or blue or yellow 
or violet in it — ^never the dull tones of our rain-clouds. 

December i8th. 

Just back from a gira in the city. Immense crowds 
around the Banco Central. This is the clearing-house 
for all the state banks, and each person waiting outside 
had state bank-notes to exchange against those more 
attractive ones of the Banco Nacional. 

I see Cardinal Rampolla is dead. I thought of his mag- 
nificent appearances in St. Peter's, that tall and slender 
form, that proud and beautiful profile, the head held 
high — a fit frame on which to hang the gorgeous vest- 
ments. I remember the disappointment of our various 
friends when Austria vetoed his election at the last con- 

* Live-oak — Mexican cypress. 
99 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

clave. I wish he might have had it ; but now that he has 
passed through the door I would not call him (nor any 
one) back. The old Roman days came so vividly to 
my mind — and many besides Rampolla who are no 
,more. 

Elim is sitting by me, writing in two colors all the 
words he knows — Gott, kuss, bonnemaman, papa, mama. 
He has just asked ' * Who handed me down from the clouds 
when I was bom?" 

I am giving a luncheon at the Chapultepec restaurant 
on Friday for Colonel Gage and the Cardens. 

The Mexican papers take great pleasure in likening 
Woodrow Wilson to Napoleon III., with comparisons of 
the Mexican policy and Sedan! 

The reception yesterday did not have the snap and go 
of the first. We got there about six, going in almost im- 
mediately to tea, spread, as usual, in the long gallery. I 
stood at the table between von Hintze and Hedry, the 
Austrian charge. 

It seemed to me, as I looked around the table, that 
each minister had some strange, battered-looking female 
by him. They proved to be the wives of Cabinet Min- 
isters, who change so fast that it is impossible to keep 
track of their better halves, produced only on this single 
occasion. Moheno, however, was able to produce a 
very pretty wife, smartly dressed, with magnificent 
pear-shaped emeralds dangling from her white ears, 
and a most lovely young daughter. 

The President was preoccupied and vague, drank no 
healths, and his frock-coat seemed longer and looser than 
ever; indeed, the servants had just begun to pour 
the champagne when, his wine untasted, Huerta gave 
his arm to Mme. Lefaivre, with a gesture of putting the 
function behind him, and, the banquet almost untouched, 
we all filed out behind him. He was evidently terribly 

100 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

bored and thinking of other things. And, anyway, he 
isn't the man to conduct things twice in the same way. 
He stopped as he was leaving the salon and told me he 
had muchas muy buenas cosas (many good things) to say 
of N. ''Only good things, even in my absence." With 
that, he left the festive scene and the affair rather fell to 
pieces. N. had a dinner at the club for Colonel Gage, 
who was at the reception in morning coat. He had pur- 
posely not brought his uniform, being wary at touching 
the official note, which might re-echo too loudly in 
Washington. 

I went to the Simons*, who were having a dinner for 
the captain of the Conde and his staff lieutenant. They 
were big, good-looking Frenchmen, who had been at the 
reception in all their glory of gold braid and decorations. 
Through a motor trip and a punctured tire they had 
missed the audience arranged for them by their minister 
with Huerta, and to atone they had gone looking espe- 
cially official. 

Yesterday I went out to see Mother Semple at the 
American Convent of the Visitation. Until two years 
ago she had had a large and flourishing school at Tepex- 
pam. There came a Zapatista scare, thirty or forty 
bandits dancing around the convent one night, shooting 
off pistols and screaming out ribaldries. Fortunately 
nothing precious was broken, but the nuns were ruined, as 
the parents withdrew their little darlings. Now they 
are trying to get the school together again in a house at 
Tacubaya, which, though very picturesque, with an 
old garden and a sunny patio, is not at all suited to the 
double purpose of community life and school. They 
have dreams of selling the big property at Tepexpam for 
a barracks. The government may get the barracks 
in these days of taking what one sees, but I doubt if 
the nuns will ever get the money. 
8 i«>i 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

December igth. 

Mexican calls all the afternoon. Mme. Bernal has a 
really lovely house, just done over, full of choice things. 
She herself is young and beautiful, in a dark-eyed, white- 
teethed, pallid way. Then I went to see Mercedes del 
Campo, whom I found, with her baby and an Indian 
nurse, in the palm- and eucalyptus-planted garden. She, 
like all the others, is young and handsome. Her husband 
was in the diplomatic service under Diaz, but since then 
has fought shy of the administration set. It's a pity, as 
he would be an ornament to any service. Such beauti- 
ful English — such perfect French! 

They are living in the house of their aunt, Madame 
Escandon, in the Puente de Alvarado, the street named 
after this most dashing of Cortes' captains. It was near 
by that he made his famous leap in the retreat of the 
Noche Triste; the "dismal night," when the Indians, wit- 
nessing his apparently miraculous escape, thought him a 
god. A little farther up from the Escandon house is the 
celebrated Palacio Bazaine or Casa de la Media Luna. 
It was presented, with all its luxurious furnishings, by 
the Emperor to Marshal Bazaine, on the day of his 
splendid nuptials with a beautiful Mexican. Here the 
Emperor and Carlota were often received, and it became 
the center of the fashionable life of the time. There are 
many stories of the extravagant and almost regal enter- 
taining that went on there. Now all these splendors are, 
indeed, gone up in smoke; the stately mansion is a cig- 
arette-factory. I never pass it without a thought of 
Maximilian and the "Ya es hora'' of the guard who 
threw open the prison door of the Capuchin Convent in 
Queretaro on that fatal morning, and of Bazaine's saddest 
of all sad ends. 

The luncheon for Colonel Gage, who returns to Wash- 
ington next week, went off very snappily. When I got 

I02 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

to Chapultepec I found all my guests assembled on the 
veranda. I excused my lateness by saying that I had 
been waiting for N., who was with the President. ''But 
the President is here!" they all cried. I said, "I wonder 
if he would lunch with us." They all looked aghast, but 
delighted at my boldness. 

I then saw Huerta approaching us through the large 
hall toward the veranda, with the governor of the 
Federal district, Corona, and a pale, dissipated, clever 
man — for the moment (which I imagine he is making 
golden) Minister of Communicaciones. I went for- 
ward with some ^lan, as to a charge, and invited the 
President to the fiesta. That small Indian hand of 
his waved very cordially. It is literally the velvet 
hand, whatever violent deeds it may have done. But 
he said that he had a junta of much importance; he 
would be delighted to accept another time, and so on. 
There was more shaking of velvet hands, and we went 
back to our expectant guests, who were decidedly dis- 
appointed. It was very pleasant, as always, on the 
broad veranda, looking toward the Castle, visible above 
the great branches of the century-old ahuahuetes. 

N. had been driving with the President for an hour 
before lunch, and had asked him for the release of three 
Americans, long imprisoned here. Huerta assured him 
that they should all be set free, whether guilty or not, just 
to please him; and at six o'clock this evening the first 
instalment arrived at the Embassy, delivered into N.'s 
hands by two Federal officers. And so the work goes on. 
Huerta is very prime-sautier. Once before when N. had 
asked for the punishment of some soldiers, convicted of 
deeds of violence against some Americans, he responded 
promptly: "Who are they? Where are they ? They shall 
all be killed!" N. protested, aghast at the possibly in- 
nocent untried sheep stiffering with the guilty goats. 

103 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Anything, however, to please N. in particular and the 
United States in general. There is really nothing that 
the United States couldn't do with Huerta if they would. 
All concessions, all claims, pending through decades, 
could be satisfactorily adjusted. As it is, Huerta keeps 
on at his own gait, not allowing himself to be rushed or 
hustled by the more definite energy of the Republica del 
Norte, playing the game of masterly inaction and scoring, 
for the time being, on Washington. After all, you don't 
get any "forwarder" by waving copies of the constitu- 
tion in a dictator's face. He ignores his relations with 
the United States, never mentioned us in^ his speech to 
Congress, and probably put the ultimatum into the 
waste-paper basket. I am beginning to think that, in 
the elegant phrasing of my native land, he is ''some" 
dictator! The New York Sun speaks admiringly of the 
way in which he continues to treat Mr. O'Shaughnessy 
with a friendly and delicate consideration. 

December 20th, 

Red Cross all the morning. It is wonderful, the sto- 
icism of the Indian, where pain, hard pain, is concerned. 
A rather amusing incident occurred to-day. I asked a 
man who had had his hand shot off if it were a * ' Zapa- 
tista," "Constitucionalista," or "Huertista" deed. He 
raised the other paw to his forehead, answering with great 
exactitude, **No, sefiora, Vasquista." I thought the 
Vasquista movement had long since died the usual un- 
natural death. 

I see that the new Austrian minister to Mexico has 
arrived in the United States en route for his post, and the 
new Italian minister arrives at Vera Cruz to-morrow, 
after a wait of three weeks at Havana, for ''our health," 
not his. As is the custom, some one from the protocol 
has gone to meet him and bring him up to the city. The 

104 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

European Powers evidently mean to carry out their 
program independent of ''watchful waiting." It will 
be rather hard on our government when two more 
representatives of great nations present their credentials 
to the "Dictator." 

People say it is a pity that Huerta did not, on assum- 
ing power, declare formally that he would have a dicta- 
torship for two years, imtil such time as the country was 
pacified, leaving out entirely any question of elections. 
However, that is "hindsight." Apropos of Villa, I see 
one of the United States papers chirps: "Is a new sun 
rising in Mexico?" I have seen several rise and set on 
the reddest horizon imaginable, in my short Mexican 
day. As a butcher Villa cannot possibly be surpassed. 
But "who loves the sword shall perish by the sword," is 
always true here. I spent the morning at the Red Cross, 
washing and bandaging dirty, forlorn Aztecs. This year 
they have the beds made according to our ideas. Last 
year they used the blankets next the body and the sheet 
on top — it "looked better." 

Calls and card-leaving all the afternoon, with Mme. 
Lefaivre, fortunately. We generally do the "bores and 
chores" together, chatting between addresses. Now it 
is half past nine. I am looking over one of Gamboa's 
books. He was Minister for Foreign Affairs last August 
when Mr. Lind arrived, and drafted the famous and en- 
tirely creditable answer to "Mr. Confidential Agent." 
He is sometimes called the Zola of Mexico. 



December 21st. 

Just home from Mass. I go to the Sagrado Corazon 
near by, built mostly with money given by the muy 
piadoso Lascurain, a man of the highest integrity and 
large personal fortune. For a long time he was Minister 

105 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

for Foreign Affairs, and for twenty minutes (as I wrote 
you), President, between Madero and Huerta. 

I am now writing, veiled and gloved, waiting for the 
picnickers to assemble here. About ten or twelve of us 
are going to Mme. Bonilla's lovely garden in Tacubaya. 

Evening. 

We had a peaceful dia de campo in the old garden, the 
strange Mexican magic making beautiful things more 
beautiful and transfiguring all that is ordinary. Mme. 
B., an Englishwoman and, incidentally, a cordon bleu, 
was sitting under a yellow rose-bush when we got there 
— looking very attractive in white lace and beating up 
the sort of sauce you make yourself, if you can, or go 
without, in Mexico. We partook of an excellent com- 
bined luncheon — we all brought something — under an 
arbor of honeysuckle and roses, with true Mexican lack 
of hurry. Afterward we strolled over the near hillside 
in its garb of maguey and pepper trees. The volcanoes 
looked inexpressibly white and beautiful in their aloof- 
ness from our troubles, though the hills at their base are 
the stamping-grounds of hordes of Zapatistas, and often 
the smoke of fires indicates their exact whereabouts. 
With true Anglo-Saxon disregard of native warnings, 
we sat for a long time under a large pepper-tree, arbol de 
Peru, which, the Indians say, gives headache, unable to 
take our eyes from the soft outline of the city, swimming 
in the warm afternoon light. Countless domes and 
church spires were cut softly into the haze, the lake of 
Texcoco was a plaque of silver far beyond, and above all 
were the matchless volcanoes. To complete the first 
plan of the picture, an old Indian, a tlachiquero, was 
quietly drawing the juice from some near-by maguey 
plants, after the fashion of centuries, with a sort of 
gourd-like instrument which he worked by sucking in 

1 06 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

some primitive but practical fashion. It looks to the 
uninitiated as if the Indian were drinking it, but its final 
destination is a pigskin slung athwart his back. After 
tea in the garden, on which a mystical blue light had 
fallen, we motored home in the quickly falling dusk, 
the thin, chilly air penetrating us like a knife. 

Advices have come that the rebels are again attack- 
ing Tampico. They evidently got what they wanted at 
the last attack — four cartloads of dynamite and lots of 
rolling stock, and are in a position to give a tidy bit of 
testimony as to the value of the Constitutionalist prin- 
ciples. 

Zapata had a narrow escape the day before yesterday. 
He was surprised by Federals at Nenapepa, as he and 
his followers were sitting around their camp-fire. He 
barely escaped in the skirmish, leaving behind him his 
precious hat, a big, black, Charro hat, wide-brimmed and 
pointed crown, loaded with silver trimmings. It was 
brought to town by Colonel Gutierrez, greatly chagrined 
because he could not also bring what had been under the 
hat. The image of Zapata on his charger, dashing 
through fields of maguey, up and down barrancas, is very 
characteristic of the brigand life so much the thing in 
Mexico just now. 

The new loan of 20,000,000 pesos has been under- 
written by a lot of foreign bankers, principally French, 
I think, though some in New York are supposed to be 
** involved." It will keep things going for another couple 
of months or so, and then the ''sorrows of Huerta" will 
begin again. As it is, he can continue for that length of 
time to play with the kindergarten class at Washington. 
A nice cable came from Mr. Bryan saying that the State 
Department was much gratified at N.'s being able to 
procure the release of the American prisoners I men- 
tioned. 

107 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

December 24th, 

The banks here have been given legal holidays from 
the 2 2d of this month to the 2d of January. That is 
one way of solving the banking problem. It is supposed 
to be for the safeguarding of the depositors, who, how- 
ever, are crowding the streets leading to the closed 
banks, wild to get out what they put iw, to confide it to 
the more trust-inspiring stocking. 

To-day is Huerta's saint's day, Sanctus Victorianus. 
There was a reception of the gentlemen of the Diplomatic 
Corps at the Palace. The doyen made an address dealing 
in safe but pleasant generalities, and Huerta replied, 
protesting that he had but one idea, the pacification of 
Mexico. The German minister is away to investigate 
the murder of one of his nationals. 

I again visited the tuberculosis hospital this morning 
and was interested to see patients risen from the dead, 
so to speak, and walking once more with the living. The 
climate here is ideal for cures. I took some Christmas 
packages to the Red Cross, then went to the Alameda. 
On three sides of the Park the Christmas booths are set 
out — piiestos, they are called. The Indians bring their 
beautiful and fragile potteries from long distances, and 
endless varieties of baskets and toys, and last, but not 
least, their relatives, so that family life in all its details 
can be studied. They are seUing, cooking, dressing, 
saying rosaries, examining little black heads for the 
ever-present visitants — a familiar Mexican occupation 
at all seasons. The smell of Christmas trees and greens, 
banked along the street, mingles with odors of peanuts 
and peppers, enchiladas, and all sorts of pungent foods. 

The cohetes are going off as I write. They are noisy 
crackers, making sounds like rifle-fire. Their use is an 
old custom that is observed for the nine days before 
Christmas; but in these troublous days one is led to 

108 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

think rather of pistols than of the advent of the ''Son 
of Peace." 

A very nice letter came from Admiral Cradock, say- 
ing that he has just got back to Vera Cruz from the 
Tampico fray, the sojourn enlivened by some "good 
tarpon-fishing." He will not be able to return here for 
Christmas, as he intended, but hopes we will soon run 
down to Vera Cruz and be dined and saluted by him on 
the Suffolk. 

There are a thousand things to do about Christmas. 
We trimmed the tree last night and it is locked away 
in the big salon, presumably safe from infant eyes. 



IX 

Christmas — The strangling of a country — de la Barra — The "manana 
game" — Spanish in five phrases — Sefiora Huerta's great diamond — 
The peons desperate situation in a land torn by revolutions. 

La Noche Buena, Christmas, igij. 

THESE Christmas hours I have been dwelHng on 
memories of my precious brother on his bed of 
pain throughout these days last year, his Tod und Ver- 
klarung. . . -. But I would call no one back, once through 
"the door." 

The tree was a great success — though in the morning, 
when Feliz was hanging the last festoons of green about 
the room, he crashed down, step-ladder and all, on the 
side where the toys were piled. There had to be swift 
runnings down-town to repair the damage. I was so 
annoyed that I didn't even ask if he were hurt, and he 
seemed too aghast at the occurrence to feel any pain. 
It was very pleasant to have the small remnant of the 
faithful under one roof. The children played with their 
toys and we grown-ups exchanged our little offerings 
and greetings and everything seemed very cozy and safe 
— just as if we weren^t "riding a revolution." 

Clarence Hay brought N. a bottle of cognac, inscribed: 
"Nelson from Victoriano," and a like-sized bottle of 
grape- juice: "Nelson from W. J. B." I leave you to 
guess which we opened. 

After the departure of the families, a few of the lone 

no 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

ones stayed — Seeger, Clarence H., Ryan — and we talked 
until a late hour of the strange adventures we are all 
living through in this land of endless possibilities. 

To-day, after Mass, we drove to the beautiful little 
Automobile Club, where Seeger gave a luncheon for us, 
the Tozzers, Clarence Hay, and the Evans. The club is 
built in the new part of the Park, on the edge of one of 
the little artificial lakes made when Limantour laid out 
the Park as it now is. We sat on the terrace toward the 
high hill of the castle, which breaks the round horizon 
of the magic hills. The air was soft, yet bright, the 
moss-hung old ahuahuetes, symbols of grief and mourn- 
ing, had joyous, burnished, filmy outlines, and the 
volcanoes were flinging white clouds about their lovely 
heads. It was one of God's own days — as days here 
usually are. 

December 26th. 

I am sending you a few Heralds y with their Christmas ( ?) 
head-lines: ''Vera Cruz Rebels Suffer Defeat in Fierce 
Fight"; ''Rebels Ordered to Execute All Prisoners" 
"Town of Tapono Burnt to Ground by Federals" 
"Only Twelve Killed when Military Train Dynamited" 
"Fierce Fighting at Concepcion del Oro." They 
make one feel that "watchful waiting" in Washing- 
ton bids fair to be woeful waiting south of the Rio 
Grande. 

Elim was worn out by the Christmas festivities and 
was dreadfully naughty. The season of pinatas is on, 
and he has a great number of invitations — unfortunately. 
At the pinatas a large, grotesque head and figure, dressed 
in tissue-paper and tinsel, depending from the ceil- 
ing, is the center of attention. The dress conceals a 
huge, but fragile, earthern jar {olla) filled with nuts, 
fruits, candies, and small to37S. Each child is blind- 
folded and allowed to have a whack at it with a big stick. 

Ill 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

When it is finally broken the contents spill everywhere 
and are scrambled for. It seems a messy sort of game, 
but it is time-hallowed here. 

I sent Mr. Lind a telegram yesterday: "Affectionate 
greetings; best wishes." He might as well, or better, 
be in Minneapolis. Nobody ever speaks of him and Vera 
Cruz is like the grave as far as the government here is 
concerned. Mexico is going to her downfall, and it 
seems as if she must be nearly there. It is very sad to 
us, who are on the ground. I never witnessed, before, 
the strangling of a country, and it is a horrible sight. 
The new Chilian charge came in a day or two ago: he 
has been in Central America for twenty years, and says 
this is his thirty- second revolution. 

I caught sight of Mr. Creel-Terrazas in his carriage, 
yesterday. His face was sunk and ashen, and he was 
huddled up in one corner of the coupe, changed indeed 
from the hale, rosy, white-haired man of a few weeks 
ago. He and his family have lost everything at the 
hands of the rebels. The family owned nearly the whole 
of Chihuahua, and though stories — ^probably true — are 
told of how, generations ago, they came into possession 
of the vast property, driving the Indians from their 
holdings into the desert, it does not change the present 
fact that they are ruined, and the country with them; 
the "judgment" upon them, if judgment it be, involving 
countless others. 

The whole question up there seems to reduce itself 
very simply to a matter of grabbing from those in pos- 
session by those desirous of possession. We are all wait- 
ing for the inevitable falling out of Carranza and Villa. 
The hero in any Mexican drama is never more than a 
few months removed from being the villain. The actors 
alone change ; never the horrid plot of blood, treachery, 
and devastation. 

iiz 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

You saw that de la Barra actually reached Tokio. 
I was sure he would, having a way of finishing^ what 
he begins. Five sets of ambassadors have been ap- 
pointed to set out for Japan to return the nation's 
thanks for the special embassy sent to the splendid 
1 910 Centenario — that apogee of Mexico's national and 
international life. The last two were the murdered 
Gustavo Madero, who couldn't tear himself away be- 
cause of the golden harvests to be reaped at home; and 
Felix Diaz, because of his political aspirations. 

You remember de la Barra, from Paris, an agreeable, 
adroit man of the world, who proved himself, during 
the five months that he was President ad interim, 
a very good tight-rope walker on a decidedly slack 
rope. The country was still enjoying the Diaz prestige, 
and he found himself pretty generally acceptable to both 
the old and the new regime. Pie has always been very 
catholic. He became, later, rather a source of anxiety 
to Madero, who feared his popularity, though his suc- 
cess at the time was largely a matter of allowing all 
really important questions to stand over for his successor. 
Looking back on it all now, I see him in a very favorable 
light: a careful, hard-working, skilful politician, with a 
taste for peace and order which is not always inherent 
in the Mexican breast, and a safe man to fall back on to 
conduct the affairs of his country with dignity. When 
in doubt, "take" de la Barra. 

The manana (to-morrow) game is the best played 
down here; it is never actually subversive; and, as ex- 
emplified by Huerta's attitude vis-d-vis the United States, 
it is very effective against a nation that wants things 
done, and done at once. I find that the Mexicans are 
constantly studying us, which is more than we do in 
regard to them. They look upon us as something im- 
mensely powerful, that is able and, perhaps, if displeased, 

113 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

willing, to crush them. They are infinitely more subtle 
than we, and their efforts tend more to keeping out of 
our clutches than to imitating us. Our institutions, all 
OUT ways of procedure, are endlessly wearisome to them, 
and correspond to nothing they consider profitable and 
agreeable. Suum cuique. 

I have discovered that there are five Spanish phrases 
quite sufficient for all uses, in the length and breadth of 
this fair land : ' * Manana " (' ' to-morrow " ) . " Quien sabef ' ' 
("who knows?"). ''No hay'' ("there isn't any"). ''No 
le hace'' ("it doesn't matter"). "Fa se fue'' ("he has 
gone"). This last I add as, whenever any one tries to 
get hold of anybody, "Fa se fuf is the answer. I have 
given this small but complete phrase-book to many, who 
find it meets almost any situation or exigency. 

No news from Mr. Lind for some time. Doubtless 
Christmas, as spent on the Mexican coast, alternating 
damp heat and north winds, is a poor affair compared 
with the tannenhaums and skating and general cheer of 
both his Fatherlands. Some Western editor suggests that, 
on his return, he will be in a position to publish a "com- 
prehensive blank book" on the Mexican situation. I 
have broken many a lance for him; but when one of 
the foreign ministers said to me yesterday ," your Scan- 
danavian friend is anti-Latin, anti-British and anti- 
Catholic," I could but retire from the field of 
battle. 

Elim is always followed by his two dogs — Micko, the 
melancholy Irish terrier, and Juanita. The white bull 
pup becomes more destructive and demonstrative every 
day. Yesterday when she seemed not quite her awful 
self one of the servants suggested hanging a string of 
lemons around her neck. I remember having seen dis- 
consolate dogs wearing necklaces of lemons, but thought 
children had placed them there. It appears, however, 

114 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

that such a necklace is in high favor among the Indians 
as a cure for distemper. 

I hear that the government intends to lease the Te- 
huantepec Railroad to Pearson's Oil Company for 
twenty-five years, for 25,000,000 pesos. Huerta is de- 
picted in one of the papers as knocking at the Euro- 
pean pawnshop with the Isthmus imder his arm. 

December 2Qth. 

I inclose a delightful letter from Mrs. J. W. Foster, 
who always keeps so apace with events. Of course the 
Fosters read the Mexican news with interest and under- 
standing, as they were here during the years Diaz was 
trying to establish himself in spite of the Mexican people, 
and not in spite of us as well, fortunately for Diaz and 
them. . . . 

I send a cartoon from Novedades, representing Huerta 
paralyzed. One nurse asks the other how he is, and she 
answers: *'No change. He can't move yet." 

Well, some one has got to **move" if this country 
and all national and foreign interests are to be saved. 
I cannot see that a new revolutionary party in the 
north, whose sole virtue, up to now, is that it is **agin" 
the government, can do it. Besides which it represents 
only another pack of hungry wolves to be let loose upon 
the country. I hear that Carranza has a brother, Jesus, 
who possesses the family vice of greed to a great degree, 
and is about to ''operate" on the Isthmus. There are 
predictions that it will look as though the locusts had 
been over it, if he really gets a ** chance." 

Four clerks are sleeping in the house, and the work is 
going on apace. Cambiaggo, the new Italian minister, 
was received yesterday with all honors emphasized. Oh, 
that Fata Morgana of recognition ! The Belgian minister 
has got his leave and has just been here to say good- 

115 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

by. He has already the European e3^e so familiar to 
those left behind. He has had a very cordial telegram 
from a big banker in New York, and wondered if the 
banker expected to put him up. I said, *'If you are 

PARALYZED 




HOW IS HE?" 

NO CHANGE. HE CAN't MOVE YET.' 



met by an automobile and servants in New York, you 
can be pretty sure you are to stay with him; otherwise 
you'd better rough it at the Ritz." 

Various ideas are advanced by diplomats here as to 
the possibility of some arrangement being made through 
a third party, some one of the great Powers; . . . some 

ii6 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

way by which the elections could really be held, and 
Huerta, if really elected, allowed to remain. N. can't 
do it, nor Mr. Lind, nor any American. The national 
pride on both sides is too compromised to admit of any- 
thing but a third power stepping in and *' doing the 
trick." 

There is talk of a big English loan, guaranteed by the 
customs, at the same time allowing a certain amount 
of these to be freed — a couple of milHons of pesos a month 
for the expenses of the government. There is a general 
twitching of international fingers, a longing to remedy 
our bungling. May, with his face toward Europe, sees 
everything rose-colored. He predicts that we shall be 
here until the next elections, the first Sunday in July. 
There is a great deal of speculation as to Huerta' s per- 
sonal fortune, but no one knows whether he is rich or 
poor. His new house in San Cosme is, I hear, a cheap 
affair. Mme. Huerta wore, when she received, one large, 
very magnificent diamond depending from her throat. 
But why shouldn't she have it? 

Evening. 

No political excitements these last days; only a mo- 
notonous and horrid record of grab by the temporarily 
strong from the always weak. A "good deed'' in 
Chihuahua is one that transfers any valuable property 
to a rebel. Those palatial residences, the homes of pros- 
perity and wealth for generations, have all changed 
hands during the last three weeks, which, however, does 
not mean that the much-talked-of peon has benefited 
in the slightest degree. It simply means that a few men, 
some of whom can neither read nor w^rite, now hold 
what used to be in the possession of a few men who could 
read and write. The land in Mexico has always been in 
the hands of a few thousand individuals, and the peon is 
always exploited, no matter what the battle-cry. A kind 
9 117 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

paternalism on the part of some of the upper class ha- 
cendados, who leave him more or less to the mercies of 
the Spanish administrador, has been his best fate. 

His unfitness for government has never been ques- 
tioned. When he is weak, he promises all things; when 
he is strong, he is destructive. Though there have 
been sentim.ental remarks about the peon's intelligence, 
and his wrongs, which are appalling, no government ex- 
cept ours ever dreamed of putting the destinies of the 
state into his hands — into the hands of these eighty-six 
per cent, of human beings who can neither read nor 
write. 

Curiously enough, it is the custom to assert that the 
Church kept the Indians in this state of ignorance ; but 
education, after the Laws of Reform in 1857, was taken 
out of the hands of the priests and given into those of 
the lay authorities. That was nearly sixty years ago — 
three Indian generations. Who runs may ready literally, 
in this case. 

Eduardo I. told me an amusing and enlightening 
story yesterday. An Indian went to a priest to ask to 
be married. The priest, finding his ideas of the Divinity 
were of the haziest in spite of much instruction, said, 
*'Hijo'' (son), *T cannot do it until you have learned 
el rezo'' (a very elemental catechism), and proceeded to 
give him further instruction. The Indian returned the 
next day and said that it was all very difficult and that 
he still did not understand about God being everyivhere. 
" Is He in the church ?" ' ' Yes. " * ' Is He in the milpa ' ' 
(cornfield)? **Yes." 'Ts He in my hut?'* "Yes." 
*Ts He in the corral de la casa de mi comadreV* (yard 
of my godmother's house?") *'0f course; He is always 
there," said the priest. The Indian's expression became 
triumphant. '^Padrecito,'' he said, ''I have caught you. 
My comadre's house has no yard!" 

118 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Evening. 
Mr. Lind is hurrying aboard the U. S. S. Chester to 
meet the President at Pass Christian. Strong Carran- 
zista though Mr. Lind is proving himself, I don't think 
the President will be led into the risky policy of recog- 
nizing this undeveloped but certainly not very promis- 
ing quantity. We can put in any sort of government in 
Mexico — but can we keep one in? We encouraged the 
powers of dissolution around Diaz, recognizing and aid- 
ing Madero. The world knows the result. History al- 
ways repeats itself here, and the writing on the wall is 
always in blood. After Mr. Lind's months of inaction 
it must seem good to be plowing the high seas en route 
to the weighty conference. He said he would have re- 
turned to the States some time ago but for the ''very 
satisfactory" progress of the rebels. He was especially 
"bucked up" when Villa announced his intention of eat- 
ing his New- Year's dinner at the Jockey Club. 

December 31, 1914, 
Many people are still coming and going in the house, 
but I am alone, thinking of New- Year's eves of the past. 
Now I must let this year, with its griefs, harassments, 
glories, and interests slip into the next with this last 
word for you. May we all be folded in the Eternal 
Love. I think of my precious brother and his rare gifts. 
I sometimes had the feeling of receiving through his 
beautiful mind something direct from the universal res- 
ervoir of thought. 



X 

New- Year's receptions — Churubusco — Memories of Carlota — Rape of the 
Morelos women — Mexico's excuse for the murder of an American cit- 
izen — A visit to the floating gardens of Xochimilco. 

January i, 191 4. 

MY first word goes to you. You know my heart, and 
all my love and hopes. 
A letter came from Mr. Lind, who is to-day at Pass 
Christian. It was sent before he started. He wants 
N. to come down to confer when he returns. 

Later, 

The President received the ministers at the Palace 
this morning and in the afternoon Senora Huerta re- 
ceives at Chapultepec. I have people for dinner also. 
The President's answer to the Spanish minister's speech 
at the Palace was long and disconnected, with, however, 
the insistent refrain that he had but one idea — the 
pacification of Mexico, which he would and could ac- 
complish if given time. The German minister wasn't 
there. He was off investigating the murder of a German 
subject in the interior. 

Huerta appeared at the New- Year's eve ball at the 
Coimtry Club — a most unusual stage-setting for him. 
As soon as he saw N. he joined him and gave him one 
of the abrazos they so enjoy hearing about in the 
States. His undaunted amiability may stand him and 
us and the Colony in good stead on some day of reckon- 
ing. He himself will always find asylum here. It is 

120 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

a pity that the Embassy did not hide Madero behind its 
secure door. 

Later. 

I went to Senora Huerta's reception with the Gardens. 
N., having paid his tithe in the morning, had fled to the 
country. There were few present. She received on the 
lower floor of the Palace in the rooms which were once 
the intimate apartments of Maximilian and Carlota. 
They were handsome rooms so far as proportions go, 
but were done over in doubtful taste in Diaz's time. 
The dining-room, where tea was served, looked as if 
paneled in plaster and painted a hideous brownish 
yellow; but I am told it is really finished in carved 
Alsatian oak. On the table was one large silver epergne 
bearing Maximilian's arms; how it has managed to re- 
main where it is all these years I know not. 

The room where Senora Huerta stood, which used to 
be Carlota's boudoir, is now hung with an ugly, brown- 
ish-pink brocade; a lovely Gobelin border remains to 
frame the panels of the brocade, and two exquisite 
limettes of the same Gobelin are over the windows. 
The rooms are only inconveniently reached one through 
the other. Visitors pass through the Salon Rojo, with its 
big table and chairs, where the Cabinet sits when meet- 
ings are held at Chapultepec, then through theRecamara 
Azul, hung with blue brocade, in which is an elaborate 
Buhl bed and dressing-table. Other traces of the ruler 
with the blond hair and blue eyes are not in evidence. 

The President made a speech at tea. I was standing, 
two removed, on his side of the table, next to Mme. 
Lefaivre and Sir Lionel. Huerta began by wishing the 
Diplomatic Corps a happy new year. He went on to 
say, with his usual genial ignoring of the United States, 
that Mexico was not the equal of great Powers like Eng- 
land, Spain, France, or Germany; that she had not their 

121 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

many blessings of culture and enlightenment; that she 
was an adolescent, a minor; but that, like any nation, 
she possessed a right to her own development and 
evolution along her own line, and he begged the mercy 
and patience of the Powers. He got balled up in some 
astronomical metaphors. One heard vague references to 
Jupiter and Mars; but he soon disentangled himself 
with his usual sang-froid. I found his speech, imder the 
circumstances, tragic and touching. He is backed up de- 
terminedly against the whole world of Powers and Domi- 
nations, but at times he must know that he is slipping, 
slipping. Mexico can't exist without the favor of the 
United States, or at least without its indifference. 

Eight years ago, in one of those interregna known to 
all Mexican statesmen, Huerta was overseer of peons 
building houses in the new quarter of Mexico City. 
But mostly his avocations have required courage and 
knowledge. He was for years head of the Geodetic Sur- 
vey, and was at one time inspector of the ' ' National Rail- 
ways." He was first discovered in his native town by a 
passing general who needed some one for secretarial 
work. Having taken the fullest advantage of the very 
poor schooling of his native town, he was ready when 
opportunity came. He was taken to Mexico City, where 
he was brought to the attention of Diaz, through whose 
influence he entered the Military Academy. After this 
his qualities were speedily acknowledged and he became 
an important figure in the military history of Mexico. 

He once told N. that when, during de la Barra's in- 
cimibency in 191 1, he was sent in to Morelos to surpress 
the Zapatistas, the Cientifico party offered him many in- 
ducements to aid in their reinstatement as rulers of Mex- 
ico. He added that he had preferred to remain faithful to 
his constitutional oath. The same thing occurred dur- 
ing the brilliant campaign he carried out in the north for 

12Z 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Madero against Orozco. He said, "I could have done it 
easily then, because I had control of the army and the 
arms, but I remained faithful to Madero, as representing 
constitutional government." Later on, he said, he be- 
came convinced that Madero was not capable of the busi- 
ness of government and that disaster was unavoidable. 

How well I remember going once to Chapultepec 
to I see Senora Madero. She was in bed in the room 
next the Salon de Embaj adores, consumed with fever 
and anxieties, twisting a rosary in her hot hands. She 
told me, with shining eyes, of the news received that 
very afternoon of the success of Huerta's northern 
campaign against Orozco, and added that he was their 
strongest general and muy leal (very loyal). How 
quickly any situation here in Latin America becomes part 
of an irrevocable past ! 

N. sent a telegram to Mr. Lind in answer to his letter, 
begging him to give the President his most respectful 
wishes for a happy new ^ ear. This afternoon we received 
the new Italian minister. 

The cook departed an hour ago, leaving word that 
her sister is dying and that she will be back in eight 
days. They are apt to take time for grief in this part 
of the world, and food for an Embassy is a mere detail. 
The galopina (kitchen-maid), seen for the first time — 
a pale, high-cheeked Indian girl, with her hair hang- 
ing down her back — answered my every question by 
a> most, discouraging, ''Quien sabeV The women ser- 
vants seem to be forever washing their hair, and 
though it would doubtless be unreasonable and useless 
to forbid it, the sight has an irritating effect. Every- 
body who has really lived in Mexico has at some time 
or other had food brought in by females with long, 
damp, black hair floating down their backs. 

We motored out to the Country Club, where Elim and 

123 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

I followed some golfers over the beautiful links. The 
short grass was dry and springy, the air clear and cool, 
without a breath of wind. As we motored home we 
found ourselves enveloped in an indescribable glory — a 
strange light thrown over everything by a blue and 
copper sunset. The luster- tiled roof of the little Chapel 
of Churubusco was like a diamond held in the sun — the 
rest of the church gray and fiat. All this is historic 
ground for us as well as for the Mexicans. Over the 
golf-links and in the fields between the Country Club 
and Churubusco, our men, on their way up from 
Vera Cruz in 1847, fought a desperate fight before 
pressing into Mexico City. It is said we lost more than 
a thousand men here, and there are grass-grown mounds 
beneath which pale and bronze heroes lie together in 
death. In the old Aztec days Churubusco had a temple 
dedicated to the war-god Huitzilopochtli, and Churu- 
busco is the word the Spaniards produced from this 
rather discouraging collection of letters. 

Burnside has just come to say that a lot of "scrap- 
ping," as he calls it, is beginning again in the north. 
I don't know why we say ''beginning again*' — it never 
stops. He told me about the three hundred Morelos 
peasant women taken from their families and sent to 
Quintana Roo, the most unhealthful of the Mexican 
states, lying south of Yucatan, where it is customary 
to send men only. The women had been convoyed 
there with some idea of forming a colony with the un- 
fortunate men deported to that region for army service. 
On their arrival there was a mutiny and a scramble for 
the women by the soldiers. Such disorder prevailed 
that the officials shipped the women back to Vera Cruz 
and dimiped them on the beach. Almost every woman 
had a baby, but there was no food, no clothing, no one 
responsible for them in any way, They were merely 

124 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

thrown there, separated from their families by hundreds 
of miles. It was one of those tragedies that countless 
Indian generations have enacted. 

January 4th. 

Last night N. went to a big dinner at the Jockey Club. 
It was given by Corona, the chic governor of the Federal 
District, for the President, who made speeches at inter- 
vals. Several times Huerta seemed to be on the verge 
of mentioning the United States, but N. said he kept 
a restraining eye fastened on him. After dinner N. was 
called to the telephone. When he came back there was 
a subtle something in the air which made him feel that 
in his absence the President had drifted near the Wash- 
ington rocks, for Huerta took pains to go over and em- 
brace him. Later the President quoted the saying that 
*'all thieves are not gachupines,'' but that "all gachupines 
are thieves," whereupon, catching the Spanish minister's 
eye, he felt obliged to go over and embrace him, too! 
However, drifting a bit nearer to Scylla and Charybdis 
matters little to him. 

He was not responsible for the much-talked-of New- 
Year's greeting to President Wilson. It was sent out 
from the Foreign Office with the other usual annual 
messages to the heads of Powers, and in the Foreign 
Office they explained that they did not like to pass over 
the United States. 

The admonition given out by the State Department 
yesterday, the third to Americans, warning them not 
to return to Mexico, was printed in small type in a cor- 
ner of the Mexican Herald. Formerly it would have 
occupied a whole page, but the people are getting blas^ 
about warnings. Each man looks to himself for protec- 
tion — on the even chance. I don't know whether this 
admonition was in any way an outcome of Mr. Lind's 
conference; it might easily be, as one of his strong be- 

125 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

liefs is that foreigners would better get out. This is 
also Carranza's idea. 

January 5th. 

Von Hintze has returned. The excuse given for the 
murder of a German subject who was quietly asleep in 
the railroad station at Leon was that the guards, who 
also robbed him, thought he was an American! Well, 
there are some things one can't talk about, but I 
seemed to be conscious, hotly, of each individual hair 
on my head. 

No news from the Chester conference, but, of course, 
we are all on the qui vive for possible results. Things get 
more chaotic all the time, and whatever is to be done 
should be done quickly. There is some regard for life 
and property under the near gaze of the Dictator in the 
provinces he controls, but in the north reigns complete 
lawlessness. Everywhere brother is killing brother, and 
as for the sisters, they are often lassoed and captured as 
if they were stampeding cattle. Educated people, who 
have been prosperous all their lives, are now without 
food or shelter, knowing that strangers eat at their 
tables, sleep in their beds, and scatter their treasures. 
If only poor old Huerta could have begun in some other 
way than by riding into the capital in a path of blood 
spilled by himself and others, he would probably have 
been able, with recognition, to do as well as any one, and 
better than most. As it is, he is like a woman who has 
begun wrong. The neighbors won't let her start again, 
no matter how virtuously she lives. 

The "bull-fight charity," organized to raise funds for 
the Red Cross, is considered the hit of the season. It 
had been advertised as a "humane" fight, as the bull's 
horns were capped. However, the toreador was killed — 
amid immense excitement, pleasurable rather than other- 
wise, As I was coming home, about five this afternoon, 

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THE FLOATING GARDENS OF XOCHIMILCO 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

from a peaceful day at Xochimilco, I saw in eveiy direc- 
tion immense clouds of dust. For a moment I thought 
that a storm was rising, but it was only the dust raised 
by the vehicles bringing spectators back from the bull- 
ring, half a kilometer beyond the Embassy. Having 
tried, on two awful and useless occasions, to **get the 
spirit of the game," I have put the whole question of 
bull-fights out of my consciousness. 

Several people have just been here on their way home. 
Mr. Lefaivre thinks this unfortunate government might 
possibly get money from abroad if it could be placed in 
the hands of a commission for spending and accounting, 
and would be willing to urge it on his government under 
such conditions. The idea of such a commission, for 
several reasons, has not been popular here. It would, of 
course, be mixte (foreigners and Mexicans). It would re- 
flect on their cultura (a Spanish word for personal dig- 
nity and urbanity) , and on their hizarria, meaning gal- 
lantry, mettle, valor, generosity. Last, but not least, 
what would be the use of an arrangement where there 
would be no ''pickings" for anybody? 

Well, the sun shines faithfully on what might be an 
earthly paradise, and Xochimilco was beautiful beyond 
words. We motored out, skirting a bit of the picturesque 
Viga Canal (fifty years ago the fashionable drive of 
Mexico City) , to the old water-gates, where we got into 
a great flatboat and were poled by a big-hatted, white- 
trousered Indian along the watery aisles in between the 
beautiful floating islands — Chinampas, the Indians call 
them — so near that one could almost reach the flowers 
and vegetables planted on them. Masses of lilies, 
stocks, and pansies are now in bloom and are reflected 
everywhere in the smooth water. Silent Indians, in 
narrow canoes often simply hollowed out of trunks of 
trees, passed and repassed us. Sometimes it was a couple 

127 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

of women in bright garments, poling quietly along, with 
heaps of flowers and vegetables between them. Some- 
times there was a family, with a bright-eyed baby lying 
against the carrots and cauliflowers, the eternal trio — 
when it isn't the national sextette or octette so familiar 
here. The picturesque life of a changeless people little, 
if at all, modified since the coming of Cortes, 'unfolded 
itself to our gaze. They offered us bouquets as they 
passed, and bunches of carrots and radishes and aro- 
matic herbs, until our boat was a mass of flowers and 
scent, and a dreamy, hypnotic quiescence took the place 
of our strenuousness. Some one said, in a far-away 
voice, ''La vida es stt£no'' ("Life is a dream"). But, 
fortunately or unfortunately, a practical-minded pic- 
nicker was able to shake off his share of the strange 
magic that was upon us, saying, with an attempt at 
briskness, "This isn't for us!" 

Beautiful willow- and flower-bordered vistas had a 
way of unexpectedly leading to a sight of the volcanoes, 
sometimes Popocatapetl, sometimes Iztaczihuatl, when 
one was sure they must be somewhere else. The brilliant 
atmosphere of the Mexican plateau lay over the entire 
picture, seeming to hold the colors of the spectrum, and 
yet to remain white. There, indeed, "life is a dream." 

January 6tk, 
(In Memoriam.) 
A year ago to-day we laid away our precious Elliott. 
I feel anew the sword of grief that pierced me in that 
gray, foggy dawn at Zurich, when I realized that I must 
get up and do something that was tmdoable. Countless 
millions know the complete revolt of humanity against 
the laying of one's own in the earth. The beautiful Mass 
at the Liebfrauen Kirche was strength to my soul. Pater 
Braun's handsome, earnest face, as he spoke Elliott's 

US 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

precious name in prayer and supplication, the light play- 
ing around the pulpit, and the beatitudes in mosaic 
against gold — all are graven on my heart. I could only 
read through tears the words Bead qui esurmnt — El- 
liott's life history. And that peaceful hour with him 
afterward, in the flower-filled room, when we felt that 
it was only his afternoon rest we were watching over! 
When they came to cover his face forever I was so 
uplifted that I could turn those screws myself, instead 
of leaving it to hirelings to shut the light away from 
those noble features. ' 

Oh, that loving heart, that crystal brain, with its 
power of original thought, that gift of industry! How 
far Elliott might have gone on the road of science! 
Others will discover and progress, but he, so fitted to 
lift the veil, has slipped behind it. Oh, my brother I 

January yth. 
Sir Lionel is going, having been promoted to Brazil. 
It is an indication to all not to ''monkey with the buzz- 
saw" — i. e., relations between the United States and 
Mexico. The English are always dignified in the treat- 
ment of their representatives. Instead of recalling Sir 
L., when faced with the advisability of a change, they 
send him to Brazil, a higher-ranking post with a much 
larger salary. It is said that the matter was crystallized 
by his strong and entirely justified recommendation for 
the proceeding to his post of the Italian minister. Ital- 
ian affairs, since the departure of Aliotti, had been in 
the hands of the British; but the Italian colony here 
began to get restive, feeling the necessity, in these troub- 
lous times, of having their own representative, who had 
been "waiting and watching" so long at Havana. How- 
ever, nothing can be successful down here that is against 
the United States policy — right or wrong. The Garden 

129 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

incident will doubtless put the other foreign repre- 
sentatives on their guard. 

Von Hintze made a most enlightened speech at the 
German Club, not long ago — in which he said that, by 
reason of our unalterable geographical relations to Mex- 
ico, the United States would always have paramount 
interests here. He recommended his colony not to make 
criticisms of our policy — but to accept it as inevitable 
and natural. 

I am wondering if I can go to Vera Cruz with N. to- 
night without causing a panic here. He is going to con- 
fer with Mr. Lind, from whom we had a wire this morn- 
ing, saying that he hoped N. would find it possible to 
come, and that President Wilson sent his best wishes. 
There is a norther blowing at Vera Cruz, and we have 
the resultant penetrating cold up here. When once the 
heat gets out of the body at this altitude it is difficult 
to make it up. I am leaving Elim, as a sort of hostage 
and an assurance to the Colony that I am not fleeing. 
Dr. Ryan is living in the house, also the Parkers, and 
they will all watch over him. 

As soon as Huerta heard that N. was going to Vera 
Cruz he sent one of his colonels to ask if we wanted 
a special train, or a private car attached to the night 
express. We take the private car, only, of course; 
everybody in these days prefers traveling in numbers. 
The President is always most courteous about every- 
thing. If he cannot please Washington he does what 
seems to him the next best thing — he shows courtesy 
to its representative. He said to dAntin, who went 
to thank him, in N.'s name, for the car: ''Mexico es 
como una serpiente; toda la vida estd en la caheza^' ("Mex- 
ico is like a snake; all its life is in its head.") Then he 
banged his head with his small fist and said, ''Yo soy 
la cabeza de Mexico F' ("I am the head of Mexico !") ' ' And 

130 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

until I am crushed," he added, "she will -survive!'* 
D'Antin, who is a Frenchman with a Latin- American 
past, probably gave him words of consolation that 
would fit neither the letter nor the spirit of watchful 
waiting. Huerta is magnetic. There is no disputing 
that fact. 

Vera Cruz, January 8th. 

I am writing this hasty line in Mr. Lind's dim room at 
the Consulate, to let you know that we slipped quietly 
down those wondrous slopes last night without hindrance. 

I am decked out in a white skirt, purple hat and veil, 
and purple jersey. We have struck the tail end of 
the norther and the temperature is delightful. The 
moving-picture man, who followed us down last night, 
is now trying to persuade Mr. Lind and N. to let him 
"get them" in conversation, but Mr. Lind refuses on 
the plea that he is not in politics. I asked him how 
about his noble Lincoln head, and he answered, "Noth- 
ing doing; that unrepeatable head is long in its grave." 
. . . The admiral is announced. 



XI 

Dramatic values at Vera Cruz — Visits to the battle-ships — Our superb 
hospital-ship, the Solace — Admiral Cradock's flag -ship — An American 
sailor's menu — Three "square meals" a day — Travel in revolutionary- 
Mexico. 

"La Siempre Heroica," 

Vera Cruz, January gth. 

JAM writing in my state-room before getting up. 
Yesterday I sent off the merest scrap by the Mon- 
terey. We had a long and interesting day. We went 
with Admiral Fletcher and Commander Stirling to the 
Dolphin for lunch. Fortunately the admiral's flag is 
flying from her instead of from the Rhode Island, which 
is anchored, while waiting for a good berth inside the 
breakwater, in the rough sea beyond the Isla de los 
Sacrificios. 

Captain Earl is in command of the Dolphin, the de- 
spatch-boat that successive Secretaries of the Navy have 
used for their journeyings and which has just come from 
''watching" the elections in Santo Domingo. The 
admiral offered to put us up, but I thought it was un- 
necessary to trouble him, as we were already unpacked 
on the car. Admiral Fletcher, besides being an agree- 
able man of the world, is an open-minded, shrewd, ex- 
perienced seaman, versed in international usage, know- 
ing just what the law allows in difficult decisions, where 
to curtail his own initiative and fall in with established 
codes, or where to go ahead. The splendid order and 
efficiency of the men and matters under his command 
are apparent even to my lay eyes. 

132 

* • 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

We sat on deck for an hour or so after lunch. The 
harbor is like a busy town — a sort of new Venice. 
Launches and barges are constantly going from one 
war-ship to another. It is a very different scene from 
the one my eyes first rested on nearly three years ago, 
when the Ward Line boat bringing us, and the 
Kronprinzessin Cecelie bringing von Hintze, were the 
only boats in the harbor. I sent a wireless to Admiral 
Cradock to let him know that we are in town, or rather 
in harbor, and he wired back an invitation for lunch 
to-day. 

On leaving the Dolphin Nelson received his eleven 
salutes, standing up with bared head in the admiral's 
barge as they thundered across the bay. We then 
went over to the Monterey to say good-by to Armstead, 
who made the journey down with us, and to see Captain 
Smith, who brought us first to the land of the cactus. 
The various boats, Spanish, French, and English, saluted 
as we' passed in the Dolphin's launch. 

In the evening Mr. Lind had a dinner for us under the 
portales of the Diligencias. Admiral Fletcher, Consul 
Canada, Commander Yates Stirling, Captain Delaney 
of the commissary-ship, and Lieutenant Courts, one of 
the admiral's aides, were the guests. The Diligencias 
takes up two sides of the old Plaza. The Municipal 
Palace, a good Spanish building, is on the third side, and 
the picturesque cathedral with its many domes and bel- 
fries embellishes the last. The band plays every night in 
the Plaza and the whole scene is gay and animated. 
Women in their mantillas and rebozos, dozens of tiny 
flower-girls, newspaper babes, and bootblacks of very 
tender years cluster like flies around soft-hearted diners. 

The Mexican Herald arrived while we were sitting 
there, and we were most amused by the head-lines: 
** Five-Hour Conference This Morning Between Lind 
10 133 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

and O'Shaughnessy Resumed in the Afternoon. " " Policy 
Not Yet Known." 

At nine-thirty I broke up the festive gathering. The 
admiral, Mr. Lind, and N. went off toward the pier, 
and Commander Stirling and Lieutenant Courts brought 
me back to the car in a round-about way through the 
quiet streets. As half after four is a favorite break- 
fast hour here, they are all "early to bed." Vera Cruz 
seems the most peaceful city in the world at the present 
moment, though no port in the world has seen more 
horrors and heroisms. Cort6s landed there, la Villa 
Rica de la Vera Cruz, as he called it, and for centuries 
the seas around were pirate-infested. She has been 
sacked by buccaneers times without number; bombarded 
by nearly every power that has had interests here — the 
Spaniards, ourselves (in 1847), the French, etc.; and 
now her port is again black with battle-ships ready to 
turn their twentieth-century guns upon La Siempre 
Heroica (the always heroic) . Two enemies she seems to 
have done with — yellow fever and cholera. The zopilotes 
(buzzards) that sail about in uncountable numbers find 
it rather hard to get a living. I see that the cleaning up 
of Guayaquil has been given to an English firm, who, 
however, will use our methods. Very few Latin- 
American contracts will be given to Uncle Sam these 
days. 

Admiral Fletcher would like to come up to Mexico 
City, which he has never seen, but after all these months 
of not coming he could only do so now officially with his 
staff — uniforms, visits to Huerta and other authorities — 
and that is out of the question. I could put him up 
at the Embassy, with his two aides, and am quite keen 
about it, and so is he; but nothing can be done until 
what the newspapers call Watchington has been sounded. 
Mr. Lind thinks it impossible (he knows he can*t return), 

134 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

as it would be taken as a sign that the President might 
be wishing to change his Mexican policy. On the other 
hand, if he should wish to change that policy, such a 
visit could be the entering wedge, and lead to big things 
in the way of peace and prosperity. 

Mr. Lind continues to think that the raising of the 
embargo on arms and ammunition in the north is the 
easiest solution of the problem; but I am terrified at 
such an issue. The last state of Mexico would be worse 
than the first. It might settle the Huerta dictatorship, 
but, alas! not the Mexican situation. 

We had a most comfortable night. Practically no 
trains come and go in the station at night and there is 
none of the usual dust and dirt of travel, all the railroads 
burning oil instead of coal. I go at ten to visit our 
hospital-ship, the Solace, and I must now arise and buckle 
me up for a long day. I have a white silk tailor-made 
costume and various fresh blouses to choose from. Nel- 
son is busy with newspaper men, who have discovered 
the car. 

January JOthy Morning. 

Before I was dressed yesterday morning Mr. Lind 
appeared with a steward from Captain Delaney, bring- 
ing me some delicious hams and bacons and other good 
things from the supply-ship to take to Mexico City. 
Then Captain Niblack appeared, looking very smart. 
He was our naval attacks in Berlin, relieved only last 
summer, I think, and is a charming man of the world. 
I was out of my, state-room by this time and fresh 
myself, but the state-room looked like Messina after 
the earthquake. General Maass, military governor 
or Commander of the Port, and his aide, were next to 
appear. He shows his German blood in various ways 
(not in that of language, however). He has light, up- 
standing hair, German eyes, and much manner. There 

135 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

were many bows and palaverings, a los pies de Vd., etc. 
He put his automobile at our disposition for the day, 
and it was my car by the time he had finished offer- 
ing it after the courteous Spanish custom. The in- 
terview finally ended by my arranging to call on his 
senora in the afternoon, and by N. escorting him 
from the car and down the platform. Lieutenant 
Courts then arrived to take me to the Solace. All the 
officers look so smart in their fresh linens. The Solace 
was l5dng quite inside the breakwater, looking very 
cool and inviting. She was painted white, with a broad, 
green stripe around her — her official colors. Dr. von 
Wedekin was waiting on deck with his staff. I was most 
interested in seeing the perfect arrangements for the 
care of all that is mortal of man; even eyes, teeth, ears, 
are looked after in a most efficient and up-to-date 
way. The wards are fine, large, and beautifully venti- 
lated, the air as sweet and as fresh as that on deck ; 
twenty-eight cases of malaria were being treated after 
the seven days' bout at Tampico, and half a dozen of 
appendicitis. The ship carries no cargo, having the m.edi- 
cal stores for the whole fleet. The captain told me he 
had not lost a case of anything for fourteen months. 
His operating-room can compare with that of any hos- 
pital I have ever seen and the ship also has a fine labora- 
tory. She is well-named the Solace. 

She was leaving that afternoon for Tampico, which 
is one of the dreariest spots on the earth, despite the 
mighty forces at work there. Mexico's oil is at once 
her riches and her ruin. The place is malaria-ridden, 
infested with mosquitoes, and the inhabitants, I am 
told, have the weary, melancholy expression peculiar to 
fever districts. The ships that go there are as well 
screened as possible, but men on duty can't always be 
protected. I understand the mosquito that does the 

136 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

damage is a gauzy, diaphanous, rather large kind, and 
the ** female of the species is deadlier than the male." 

On leaving, Lieutenant Courts took me for a little 
turn about the harbor, as it was too early for the Suffolk 
lunch. We went around the ill-famed prison of San 
Juan Ulua. Its six desolate palms are almost the first 
thing one sees on entering the harbor. I regret that I 
did not get a pass from General Maass to visit it. I 
saw a few pale, hopeless-looking prisoners in dull blue 
and white stripes, standing on the parapets or work- 
ing in the dry dock, the guns of soldiers always poking 
in their faces. These are the * ' better class ' ' of criminals ; 
there are those in dark, oozing, terrible holes who are 
never allowed outside of them, and it is said that those 
who survive lose in a few years all human semblance. 
The foundations of the fortress were laid in early Cortas 
days and the fortunes and misfortunes of the town have 
always centered round it. It was from its tower that the 
last Spanish flag was lowered at the time of the Mexican 
independence, 182 1. When first in Mexico I used to 
hear that Madero was to close the prison; but, like 
many of his intentions, this never became a fact. Peace 
to his soul ! 

We got back to the Sanidad landing at half past twelve. 
Admiral Cradock's flag-lieutenant was waiting with 
the barge and I was delivered into his hands. N. came 
up at the sam» time and we put out for the Suffolk, 
which has a berth inside the breakwater. The admiral, 
very handsome and agreeable, not only immaculate, 
but effulgent, received us on deck and we went down to 
his delightful room. It contains really good things 
from all parts of the world — old silver from Malta, 
a beautiful twelfth-century carving (suitable for a 
museum) from Greece, fine enamels from Pekin, where 
Sir Christopher distinguished himself during the siege, 

137 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

and many other lovely things, besides books and easy- 
chairs. He is really a connoisseur, but he said that the 
ladies, God bless them, had robbed him of most of his 
possessions. After an excellent lunch Captain Niblack 
came in to say good-by, the Michigan having received 
sailing orders for New York. We had such a friendly 
talk with Sir Christopher, who said — and we quite con- 
curred — that he didn't see any cause for feeling about 
British action in Mexico, adding that he had no politics, 
no idea in the world except to save British lives and prop- 
erty, and that he and Admiral Fletcher were working to- 
gether, he hoped, in all sympathy and harmony. He 
wants to come up to Mexico again and jokingly lays it at 
Nelson's door that he can't. There is something so gal- 
lant about him, but with a note of sadness; and I am 
always conscious of a certain detachment in him from 
the personal aims of life. We left about three o'clock. 
The English use black powder for their salutes and the 
thirteen guns made a very imposing effect. The ship was 
enveloped in smoke, a sort of Tumeresque effect, making 
one think of ''Trafalgar," while the shots reverberated 
through the harbor. 

I went back to the Consulate to have a little talk with 
Mr. Lind, then got into the Maass auto, which was 
waiting at the Consulate door, and proceeded to pay my 
respects to Sefiora Maass. General Maass has a breezy 
house at the barracks at the other end of the town, in 
front of the rather dreary Alameda, with its dusty palms 
and dry fountain and general wind-swept appearance. 
An endless time of parleying followed. My Spanish, 
after a long day, gets tired like myself. However, I saw 
them all — daughters, and nieces, and friends, and the par- 
rot and the dog; the beasts were most useful conversa- 
tionally. Then the family sang and played, and one of the 
daughters, pretty, with a clear soprano, gave me a good 

138 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

deal of Tosti. Then more talk. I was getting desperate, 
no move being made to a large, well-spread, absolutely 
unavoidable, preordained table in the corner. I finally 
said that Captain Niblack, who was leaving for the 
United States in the morning, was waiting for me 
to go to the Michigan. That broke through the tea 
impasse, and, after partaking of the collation, I finally 
got away, escorted on General Maass^s arm to "my" 
automobile. 

I arrived at the Consulate, hot and tired, and without 
the sustaining feeling that "duty is a well-spring in the 
soul." I was thankful to find myself at last in the Michi- 
gan's boat with Captain Niblack and Nelson, going out 
across a bay of wondrous sunset effects — "twilight and 
evening hour and one last call for me." It was a marvel- 
ous "crossing the bar." Looking back, the outline of 
the Pico de Orizaba made a soft violet mass against the 
deepening sky, with a strange, red lighting up of the 
top. The bay was filled with ships of destruction from 
all over the world, but everything in nature for once was 
soft and merciful and seemed to dissolve and harmonize 
discordant and destructive meanings. 

The Michigan is a huge ship, one of the first dread- 
naughts, and Captain Niblack is both enthusiastic and 
earnest about his work. After a glass of something — 
for a lady inclined to teijiperance I have drained many 
pleasant cups to their cheerful lees these days — we all 
went over to the Chester, a ship of the scout type, that 
had just returned with Mr. Lind from the Pass Christian 
trip. There we picked up Captain Moffett — who also 
insisted on decocting something sustaining — and then 
turned shoreward, where Mr. Lind was giving another 
dinner for us, under the portales of the Diligencias. 
It was quite dark, but a thousand lights from a hundred 
boats made the harbor one vast jewel — not in the 

139 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

"Ethiop's ear," but in Mexico*s poor, battered, torn 
ear. At half after nine, after another pleasant dinner, I 
began to feel that my bed would be my best friend, and 
we went back to the car, through the quiet, well-lighted 
streets. Women were leaning over the little green bal- 
conies of the little pink houses in the classic Spanish 
style, with here and there a note of guitar or mandolin. 
I thought of the "Goyas" in the Louvre. 

Vera Cruz, January loth, 6.30 p.m.^ 
Home to rest a little before dressing for Admiral 
Fletcher's dinner to-night, for which we decided to 
stay over. We spent the morning on the Michigan, 
Captain Niblack giving us an early luncheon, as he ex- 
pected till noon to start for New York at one o'clock. 
The officers and crew were full of anticipations of home. 
Then the Minnesota y which had arrived in the morning, 
expecting to replace the Michigan, found orders awaiting 
her to coal immediately for a trip to Panama. Captain 
Simpson, her commander, had rushed in for lunch with 
Captain Niblack, and there got the wireless. Captain 
N. hated to tell the officers and the crew that after all 
the months of waiting at Vera Cruz they were not to 
leave, their hearts had been beating so high. The crews 
are never allowed ashore for fear of complications, and 
it is no light task to keep the thousands of sailors and 
marines in Vera Cruz harbor well occupied and content 
within the compass of their ships. They are, I can testify, 
magnificently fed. At lunch Captain Niblack ordered 
for us some of the soup the men were having, a deli- 
cious bean soup with pieces of sweet pork ; also the meat 
served us was the same as theirs — a juicy, tender steak 
such as I couldn't get in Mexico City for love or money. 
I also got the printed menu for the week, three full, 
varied meals a day. Judging from that and the samples 

140 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

tasted they have first-class fare, and all at an expense of 
thirty cents a day for each man. 

We had taken on board with us Wallace, the moving- 
picture man, who had come with a letter to N. from 
John Bassett Moore. Captain Niblack had the drill, 
salutes, etc., for N. on leaving the boat, so I suppose 
that brief episode of our career will be duly chronicled 
in our native land. After leaving the Michigan we went 
again to the Chester, and sat on deck for an hour or 
so with Captain Moffett, who had many interesting 
things to tell about the Tampico fight. A heavenly 
breeze was blowing. Salutes were fired as usual when we 
left. Some one made the little joke that they could 
*'hear us walking all over the harbor." Going from one 
ship to another, as we have been doing for three days, 
I have received a tremendous impression of the might and 
glory of our navy, and of the noble, clean, and wise 
lives which must be led by the men who command the 
ships. 

At Orizaba, {the Next Morning), January nth, 10.30. 

Well, traveling in Mexico in revolutionary times is 
all that it is supposed to be ! The rebels have destroyed 
the track at Maltrata ahead of us, sacked and burned 
fourteen provision-cars, damaged a bridge, and, officials 
say, we are held up until to-morrow. It is the first time 
anything has happened on this road, though all the other 
lines in Mexico have been cut times without number. 
Maltrata, above which the damage has been done, is the 
site of the most delicate and difficult engineering-work 
on the line and a tempting spot for havoc. 

I am staying in my state-room, worn out with the com- 
ings and goings of the last three days. A drizzling rain 
is falling, the results of the norther at Vera Cruz. 
Orizaba is known politely as the watering-pot of Mexico. 
I say "politely," as against a somewhat sirnilar name 

HI 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

which you will remember is applied to Rouen. N. is 
disgusted at not getting back to Mexico City, and I 
dare say the town is full of all sorts of rumors about us. 
He has just been to see the train-master, who has simply 
had orders to await instructions; no tickets are to be 
sold further than Orizaba. 

I am glad of these moments for a little word with my 
precious mother. Last night the admiral's dinner was 
most agreeable. The Military Commander Maass and 
his wife were there, Admiral Cradock with two of his offi- 
cers, Mr. Lind, the Consul, Yates Stirling, and others 
of the admiral's staff. I sat on Admiral Fletcher's 
left, with Maass next to me. The conversation was in 
Spanish, and I worked hard; I told the admiral that 
I deserved a trip to Panama as a recompense. The 
norte which had been announced from Tampico began 
creakingly and ominously to make itself felt and heard 
about half after nine. The admiral gave us an amusing 
picture of the life at Tampico with a hundred refugees, 
mostly women and children, on board. He said it was 
a sweet and touching sight to see certain baby garments 
hung out to dry on the cannon, and officers lulling the 
little innocents to sleep, or engaged in other and often 
unsuccessful* attempts to keep the refugees pleased and 
happy. 

At about ten o'clock, after sitting on deck awhile, 
the norte began to blow stronger. Seftora Maass, stout, 
elderly, and placid, did not seem to like her own nortes, 
so we proceeded to do what was about my seventeenth 
gangway that day. The northers of Vera Cruz are a 
great feature of the climate. They have all sorts and de- 
grees — the nortes fuertes that nearly blow the town away; 
the nortes chocolateros that are milder, last a long time, 
and keep the place healthy and bearable, and various 
others. I don't know what kind was developing last 

14s 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

night, but after an uncertain trip we were dashed up 
against the Sanidad pier, where the large Maass auto 
was waiting. We said good-by to Mr. Lind and Mr. 
Canada at the Consulate door, and in an instant they 
were blotted out in the thick darkness of the gathering 
norte. The Maasses took us on to the station, where we 
parted with all expressions of regard and compliments. 
I must say they have been more than polite. 

I went to bed immediately. Jesus, who is a gem, had 
everything in order. I don't think I would have been 
able to don my filmy black gown for the dinner had it 
not been for his deftness and general efficiency. At six 
o'clock they hitched our car onto the morning train, 
with indescribable groanings and joltings, and this is 
our history up to the present moment. 

Through the window I see only bits of a dreary station 
and crowds of Indians huddled under their serapes and 
rehozos. The poor wretches do so hate to get wet. It 
means hours of chill until the garments dry on them. 
Worried train employees are running about. I imder- 
stand that Orizaba, in spite of the "watering-pot" 
effect, is a delightful resort. Many people from Yuca- 
tan come up to recuperate — rich henequ^n and sisal 
planters; there are all the beauties and marvels of the 
tropics in the way of flowers and fruits, orchids, con- 
volvuli, ahuacate pears, pineapples, pomegranates, and 
a wonderfully tonic, even temperature. If it weren't 
for the downpour I would venture out for antiques. 
This is an old Spanish city and there are lovely things 
to be picked up in the way of ivory and wood inlaid- 
work if one is lucky. However, I don't feel like being 
watered. I haven't had the desire, since hearing of the 
hold-up, to tell you of the beauty of the scenery from 
Vera Cruz, but look at those first enchanting pages of 
Prescott's Conquest, He who never saw it, describes its 

143 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

beauties as if they were spread before him. Though, for 
really up-to-date reading on Mexico give me Humboldt, 
1807. He still seems to have said the last and latest word 
about Mexico and Mexicans as we know them to-day. 

Two train-loads of Federal soldiers, well armed, have 
just pulled out of the station, where women were weep- 
ing and holding up baskets of food to them as they 
hung out of the windows. They were laughing and 
joking as befits warriors. Poor wretches! I couldn't 
help my eyes filling with tears. They go to reconnoiter 
the track for us. I suppose it is known everywhere by 
now that the American charge and his wife are held up 
on that usually safe stretch between Orizaba and Mexico 
City. A group of armed men are standing in front of my 
window. They have black water-proof covers for their 
large hats, like chair covers; the hats underneath are 
doubtless gray felt, heavily trimmed with silver. One sol- 
dier, apparently as an incidental effect, has a poor, red- 
blanketed Indian attached to him by a lasso tightened 
around the waist. Nobody pays any attention to them; 
not even the women, with their babes completely con- 
cealed and tightly bound to their backs or breasts by 
the inevitable rebozo. One feels hopelessly sad at the 
thought of the world of chaos those little heads will, in 
their time, peep out upon. 

A thick and heartbreaking book could be written 
upon the soldadera — the heroic woman who accompanies 
the army, carrying, in addition to her baby, any other 
mortal possession, such as a kettle, basket, goat, blanket, 
parrot, fruit, and the like. These women are the only 
visible commissariat for the soldiers; they accompany 
them in their marches; they forage for them and they 
cook for them; they nurse them, bury them; they re- 
ceive their money when it is paid. All this they do and 
keep up with the march of the army, besides rendering 

144 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

any other service the male may happen to require. 
It is appalHng what self-abnegation is involved in this 
Hfe. And they keep it up until, like poor beasts, they 
uncomplainingly drop in their tracks — to arise, I hope, 
in Heaven. 

J o'clock. 

There is some idea that we may start. Men with 
ropes and hatchets and picks are getting on our train. 

Later. 

We arrived at Maltrata to be met by dozens of wet 
Indian women selling lemons, tortillas, and enchiladas. 
Each wore the eternal blue rebozo and a pre-Spanish cut 
of skirt — a straight piece of cloth bound around the 
hips, held somewhat fuller in front. They are called 
enredadaSy from the fashion of folding the stuff about 
them. Each, of course, had a baby on her back. 

Long lines of rurales came into sight on horseback. 
With fuU black capes or brilliant red blankets thrown 
about their shoulders, their big-brimmed, high-peaked 
hats, with their black rain-proof covers, these men made 
a startling and gaudy picture with the underthrill of 
death and destruction. We have been moving along at 
a snail's pace. In a narrow defile we came on one of the 
train-loads of Federals we had seen leave Orizaba, their 
guns pointed, ready to fire. 

Well, so far, so good. We hear that it was a band of 
several hundred revolutionaries who attacked the train. 
The train officials managed to escape under cover of the 
darkness. 

5-30. 

We have just passed the scene of pillage. Dozens of 
Indians — ^men, women, and children — are digging out hot 
bottles of beer, boxes of sardines and other conserves 
from the smoking wreck. Cars, engine, and everything 

145 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

in them were destroyed after the brigands had selected 
what they coiild carry away. 

A white mist has settled over the mountain. Many of 
the Indians are wearing a sort of circular cape made of 
a thatch of bamboo or grass hanging from their shoul- 
ders — a kind of garment often seen in wet weather in this 
altitude. It is marvelous that in so few hours a new 
track could be laid by the old one. We are passing gin- 
gerly over it, and if nothing else happens we shall be 
in Mexico City after midnight. I am too tired to feel 
adventurous to-day and shall be glad to find myself 
with my babe in the comfortable Embassy, instead of 
witnessing Zapatista ravages at first hand in a cold, 
gray mist which tones down not only the local color, 
but one's enthusiasm. 

Mexico City, January 12th. 

We finally arrived about one o'clock in the morning, 
to be met by many newspaper men and the staff of the 
Embassy, who received us as from the wars. About 
fifty soldiers got out of the train when we did ; and really, 
in the imsparing station light they had the appear- 
ance of assailants rather than of protectors. In a fight 
it would have been so easy to confuse the r61es. I 
thought they had long since given up putting forces on 
passenger- trains; it usually invites attack on account 
of the guns and ammunition. 

However, all's well that ends well, and I have just had 
my breakfast in my comfortable bed with my precious 
boy. They tell me he has been * ' good ' ' while his mother 
was away. Mrs. Parker says he insisted on having the 
lights put out before saying his prayers at night. He 
was so dead with sleep when I got in that he didn't 
open his eyes; only cuddled up to me when he felt me 
near. 

The newspaper gives details of the Maltrata wrecking. 

146 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

The attacking band placed a huge pile of stones on the 
rails at the entrance to the tunnel, fired on the train, 
robbed the employees, took what they could of the pro- 
visions (they were all mounted and provided with am- 
munition), and disappeared into the night. Hundreds of 
workmen have been sent to repair the damage, and a 
thousand rurales to guard and pursue. The "Mexican" 
is the big artery between this city and Vera Cruz, and if 
that line is destroyed we would be entirely cut off. 
Nothing gets to us from anywhere now except from 
Vera Cruz. The other line to Vera Cruz — the Inter- 
oceanic — has often been held up and is not in favor 
with levanting families. It is about time for one of the 
periodical scares, when they leave their comfortable 
homes with their children and other valuables, for the 
expensive discomforts of the ''Villa Rica de la Vera 
Cruz." 



XII 



Ojinaga evacuated — Tepozotlan's beautiful old church and convent — ■ 
Azcapotzalco — A Mexican christening — The release of Vera Estafiol — 
Necaxa — The friars — The wonderful Garcia Pimentel library. 

January 14th. ■ 

YESTERDAY Huerta decided to suspend payment 
on the interest on the national debt for six months, 
which will free about three million pesos a month for 
pacification purposes. He denies anything approaching 
repudiation, but says this step was forced on him by 
the attitude of the United States. It will make the 
European investors rather restive under "watchful 
waiting/' though they can employ the time by making 
large and frequent additions to the bill they intend to 
present to Uncle Sam, pohrecito. 

Ojinaga has been evacuated by General Mercado, 
who would better look out for his head. Huerta says 
he is going to have him shot. Villa will use Ojinaga for 
strategic purposes, and the refugees, four thousand offi- 
cers and soldiers and about two thousand five hundred 
women and children, are eventually to be interned at 
Fort Bliss. Uncle Sam will present the bill to Mexico 
later on. They have been started on a four days' march 
to Marfa, where, they will at last get a train. Mercado 
says he only surrendered and passed on to American 
soil when his ammunition gave out. The soldiers and 
generals — six of these last were in Ojinaga — will not be 
permitted to retiirn to Mexico until peace is effected. 

148 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

From the head-lines in some Heralds 1 am sending you, 
yoti can see that that won't be immediately. 

Of course our delay on the journey made a sensation. 
Dr. Ryan heard that we were held up in a tunnel and 
was planning to get to our relief by hook or crook. 
He is *' without fear and without reproach." I am very 
glad to be safe again in this big, comfortable, sun- 
bathed house. 

N. went to see Huerta a day or two ago. The Presi- 
dent was most relieved to have him safely back. He 
asked him the results of his visit to Vera Cruz and N. 
told him there was no change in the attitude of his 
government. Huerta remained impassive, and there was 
no further political conversation. He promised, how- 
ever, that he would attend to several matters of the 
United States, in regard to claims, etc., affecting rather 
large interests. There are some advantages in living 
under a dictator, if you enjoy his favor, and Huerta 
would barter his soul to please the United States to the 
point of recognition. 

While not convinced of the necessity, or even advis- 
ability, of formal recognition, N. does realize that every- 
thing for Mexico and the United States could have been 
accompHshed by diplomacy in the early stages of Hu- 
erta's incumbency. Now the bullying and collusive and 
secret arrangements with his enemies, the revolution- 
aries, to overthrow him, must eventually succeed, and 
in his fall we fear Huerta will take down with him the 
entire fabric of state. How often he has said, *T don't 
ask your help; but don't help my enemies!" 

Sunday Evening, January i8th. 

To-day we had a long motor trip to the old church and 
convent of Tepozotlan, with Seeger, Hay, the Tozzers, 
and Elim. There were pistols under the seats, of course, 

11 H9 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIPE IN MEXICO 

though the road (the old post-road to the north) is not 
a haunt of the Zapatistas. We drove two hours or more 
through the dazzHng air, the road running for miles 
between picturesque fields planted with maguey, the 
Indian's all, including his perdition. Here and there are 
collections of adobe huts, with bright-eyed, naked chil- 
dren playing by fences of nopal, and sometimes a lovely 
candelabra cactus standing guard. We passed through 
Cuauhtitlan — a most interesting place, with its deserted, 
picturesque hostelries that used to do a lively relay 
trade in the old coaching days. Each carved door, 
with glimpses of the big courtyard within, seems to tell 
the tale of past activities. 

Tepozotlan is celebrated for its beautiful old church, 
with a fine carved fagade, built by the Jesuits at the end 
of the sixteenth century. It was suppressed in 1857, 
under the Juarez laws of reform, and is now neglected, 
solitary, and lovely. Cypresses guard the entrance to 
its grass-grown patio, adorned by a few pepper-trees, 
with here and there an occasional bit of maguey. It 
was all sun-baked and radiant, receiving the many- 
colored light and seeming to give it forth again in the 
magic way of the Mexican plateau. We wandered 
through the church, which preserves its marvelous altar- 
pieces in the Churrigueresque style, and admired the 
gilded, high-relief wood carvings, to which time has lent 
a marvelous red patine. Some of the old chapels are 
still most beautifully adorned with rich blue Puebla 
tiles, now loosened and falling from neglected ceilings 
and walls. The adjoining seminario, with its endless cor- 
ridors and rooms, is dim and deserted, except for spiders 
and millions of fleas ; I thought at first, in my innocence, 
that these were gnats, as they settled on my white 
gloves. We lunched in the enchanting old patio of the 
cloisters, where orange-trees and a Noche Buena tree, with 

ISO 




Copyngnt by Unaerwooa & Unaerwood 

huerta's soldiers watching the rebel advance 




_■ unaerwood & Underwood 

A GROUP OF OJINAGA REFUGEES 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

its brilliant red flowers, were growing around an old 
stone well in the middle. For those hours, at least, we 
felt that all was well with the world. Afterward we 
climbed the belfry and feasted otir eyes on the beauty un- 
folded to our sight. East, west, south, and north other 
pink belfries pressed themselves against other blue hills, 
repeating the loveliness until one could have wept for the 
beauty of it all. The almost deserted village, straggling 
up to the patio of the church, is where Madre Matiana 
was born at the end of the seventeenth century. She 
made, on her death-bed, the celebrated prophecies which 
have been so strangely confirmed by subsequent events 
in Mexican history. 

The Ojinaga refugees, garrison, and civilians are just 
arriving after the four days' march through the desert to 
Marfa and Fort Bliss. This affair has cost $142,000 up 
to date, and $40,000 were spent for new equipments for 
officers. I think every officer in Mexico will contem- 
plate, for a brief moment, the idea of crossing the fron- 
tier. There will be a good deal of disillusionment and 
suffering in the detention camp, however, if the soldiers 
are called on to comply with the hygienic rules of the 
American army. 

Jesus Flores Magon, whom we knew as Minister of 
Gobemacion imder Madero, a strong and clever man of 
pronounced Zapoteca Indian type, is going to Vera Cruz 
at N.'s suggestion, to see Mr. Lind. Flores Magon, who 
knows his people, says there is no use in '* trying out " an- 
other government here. Though he was in Madero's 
cabinet, he is now for the sustaining of Huerta. He thinks 
another government would only mean another set of 
traitors, who would, in turn, be betrayed. N. asked him 
if he were convinced that Huerta had other aims in view 
than the graft and personal aggrandizement his enemies 
credit him with. Though not unreservedly enthusiastic, 

151 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

he answered that he thought he had within him the el- 
ements necessary to control in Mexico, but that, like 
all Indians, he was cruel. Lind is out-and-out for recog- 
nizing the northern rebels, or, at least, raising the em- 
bargo on arms and ammunition. A terrible policy, it 
seems to me. Taking from the possessors to give to those 
desirous of possessing can hardly mend things — here or 
anywhere. Nothing that Mr. Lind has seen or heard has 
modified in the slightest the ideas with which he arrived. 

Delendus est Huerta is the mot d'ordre, and I find myself 
assisting at the spectacle. I am dazed at this flying in 
the face of eveiy screaming fact in the situation. N. 
went to see Moheno yesterday, with the usual bundle of 
claims against the government, and M. said, in a wild, 
distraught way : ' ' My God ! When are you going to in- 
tervene? You are strangling us by this policy." 

We hear from a railroad man (they are always in- 
formed) that there are two thousand well-armed men in 
Oaxaca, doing nothing — simply awaiting orders. They 
are FeHcistas. Everybody is waiting to betray every- 
body else. 

I had to stop writing for a few minutes; one of those 
strange accompaniments of life in Mexico has just mani- 
fested itself — a slight earthquake. The doors that were 
ajar swung quietly open and as quietly closed themselves. 
The chandeliers were thrown out of plumb in a rhythmic 
way; there was a sliding sound of small objects from 
their position and then back. I had an unpleasant sort of 
depolarized sensation. It is all over now — the temblor, 
as they call it. But I feel as if some ghost has passed 
through the room, leaving me not quite the same. 

January 20th.\ 
The papers have the report of the five hours' conver- 
sation between Flores Magon and Lind at Vera Cruz. 

152 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Lind is reported as saying: "Flores Magon is a splendid 
gentleman, with the welfare of Mexico at heart.'* 

We continually ask ourselves what is going to hap- 
pen. Mexico is not, by any means, starved out ; there is 
plenty of food, there is money for oil stock and bull- 
fights, and other necessaries. We may have to see 
Pancho Villa in a dress-suit. He has collected wives, as 
he would anything else, in his paso de vencedor through 
Mexico, and I understand that some of them are cu- 
rios. I suppose accident will decide which one he will 
turn up with as *' first lady in the land." A recent por- 
trait of one of them drove a woman we knew nearly 
crazy. It showed the ** bride" decked out in an old 
family necklace forcibly taken from our friend, with 
other valuables, before her flight from Torreon. 

Yesterday I went to the christening of the Corcuera 
Pimentel baby. The young mother, very pretty, was 
still in bed, enveloped in beautiful and costly laces, and 
the house was full of handsome relatives. After I had 
congratulated her, Don Luis, her father, took me out 
to tea. The table was laden with all sorts of delicacies, 
foreign and domestic. I partook of the delicious tamales, 
appetizingly done up and cooked in corn-husks d la 
Mexicaine, and drank atolli aurora, a thick, pink drink 
of corn-meal and milk, flavored with cinnamon and col- 
ored with a dash of carmine — though less exotic dainties 
were pressed on me. 

January zist. 

Yesterday was a busy day. To show you how difficult 
it often is to get hold of Huerta, — N. was up and out at 
seven-thirty, looking for him. He went to his house — 
gone. He went to Popotla, a place Huerta has in the 
suburbs near the Noche Triste^ tree. Not there. N. came 

^The celebrated Arbol de la Noche Triste is an old, weather-beaten 
cypress, which has been cherished and doctored by botanical commis- 

IS3 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

home. I was just starting down-town, so I drove him to 
the Palace, where one of the aides said the President 
might be foimd at Chapultepec — the restaurant, not the 
castle, which he does not affect. We again went the 
length of the city, from the Zocalo, through Plateros, up 
the beautiful, broad Paseo. Huerta was just passing 
through the entrance to the Park in a big limousine, fol- 
lowed by two other automobiles containing secretaries 
and aides. N. got out of our auto and went into that of 
the President, the others keeping their distance. There is 
always more or less * ' waiting around ' ' on royalty. They 
sat there for an hour, I remaining in our auto, during which 
time N. procured the release of Vera Estanol, one of the 
most brilliant of the Deputies, imprisoned since the 
coup d'itat of October loth. Huerta also sent one of his 
aides with a note to the Supreme Court, written and 
signed by him, telling the judges to render a just de- 
cision in a case affecting American interests, which 
is now before the court. This case has been in the 
Embassy nearly twenty years, and four of our ad- 
ministrations have tried, without result, to get justice 
done through the Embassy, using every form of diplo- 
matic representation. Though N. saw him write the 
order, and the auto which took the note started off in 
the direction of the Supreme Court, and returned, hav- 
ing delivered it, no one can tell what wink may later be 
given the judges. 

I came home and ordered a room to be prepared for 
Vera Estanol, as, of course, he must remain with us 

sioners and outraged by mobs. Under it Cort6s is supposed to have 
sat and wept as he saw defile before him the tattered remnants of his 
army after the terrible retreat from Tenochtitlan, July 2, 1520. There 
are three of these especially historic trees which survived the horrors of 
the Conquest — the others are the Arbol de Montezuma, in the Chapultepec 
park, and the great Tree of Tule, in Oaxaca, which sheltered Cortes and 
his venturesome company on their way to Honduras, — E. O'S. 

J54 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

until he can be shipped to the States or to Europe. I 
imagine that the clean bed and the hot water and the 
reading-lamp and desk will look very pleasant, after 
three months in jail. N. wrote and signed a letter 
to Huerta, in which he guarantees that Vera Estafiol 
will not mix in politics and will immediately leave 
the country with his family. He is one of the most 
prominent and gifted lawyers in the republic, liberal 
and enlightened, and head of the Evolucionista party. 
N. was out until midnight trying to find the President, 
to get the final order for his release, but was, in the end, 
obliged to give it up. The old man has ways of disap- 
pearing when no one can track him to ground. This 
morning, N. is after him again, and, I suppose, will bring 
Vera Estafiol to the house, whence he will take the 
well-worn route of hastily departing patriots to Vera 
Cruz. 

Yesterday afternoon Mrs. Tozzer, Mr. Seeger, and I 
motored out beyond Azcapotzalco, where Tozzer and 
Hay are excavating. Anywhere one digs in these sub- 
urbs 'may be found countless relics of Aztec civiliza- 
tion. Azcapotzalco was once a teeming center, a great 
capital, and there were then, as now, many cypress groves. 
One of them is still supposed to be haunted by Marina, 
Cortes' Indian love. 

Built on the site of the temple, teocalU, is an interest- 
ing old Dominican church of the sixteenth century; its 
great patio, planted with olive and cypress trees is inclosed 
by a pink scalloped wall, marvelously patin^. Here the 
Indians came in masses, were baptized, had their 
wounds bound up, their ailments treated, their strifes 
allayed, by the patient friars. As we went slowly over 
the broken, neglected road little boys offered us beads 
and idols and bits of pottery, which are so abun- 
dant in the fields that it is scarcely necessary to dig 

155 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

for them. T. and C. H., for their work, simply chose 
a likely-looking sun-baked mound, planted with maguey, 
like dozens of others, and with twenty-five or thirty 
picturesque and untrustworthy descendants of Mon- 
tezuma (one skips back six or seven hundred years 
with the greatest ease when* one looks at them) they 
dug out an old palace. When we demanded regalitos 
(presents), our friends drew, unwilHngly, from their 
dusty pockets some hideous heads and grotesque forms, 
caressed them lovingly, and then put them back, tm- 
able, when it came to the scratch, to part with them. 

It is a heavenly spot. Here and there a pink belfry 
showed itself, its outline broken by a dead black cypress; 
the marvelous, indescribable hills, both near and far, 
swam in a strange transparency. 

We sat long among the grubby, mixed Toltec and 
Aztec ruins, and made tea, and, in what may have 
been some patrician's parlor, watched the sun go down 
in a blaze of colors, reappearing, as it were, to fling a 
last, unexpected glory over the snow-covered volcanoes 
and the violet hills. Every shaft of maguey was outlined 
with light, the whole universe a soft spectrum. A mys- 
terious, blue-lined darkness fell upon us as we drove 
toward the city. 

January 23d. 

N. was only able to get Vera Estanol out of the Pen- 
itenciaria on Wednesday afternoon. He didn't come 
here, but was taken immediately to the station, caught 
the night train to Vera Cruz, and sailed yesterday, 
Thursday, by the Ward Line steamer. When N. went 
to the prison with the President's aide, carrying the order 
for his release and the duly signed safe-conduct, Estanol 
came into the waiting-room with a volume of Taine's 
Histoire Contemporaine in his hand, and the detached air 
acquired by persons who have long been in jail. There 

Ȥ6 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

was scarcely any conversation, his one idea being to leave 
the building and get to the train under American cover. 

Huerta told N. yesterday that General Mercado 
had been bribed by wealthy persons in Chihuahua 
to go to Ojinaga on the frontier, instead of going to 
Jimenez, where he had been ordered. He feels very 
bitter toward Mercado, who cost him 4,000 good sol- 
diers. Mercado makes all sorts of coimter-charges 
against the other generals, especially against Orozco — of 
cowardice, of placing drunken officers in important po- 
sitions, and of robbing their own Federal trains of pro- 
visions. General Inez Salazar's fate is tragi-comic. He 
was arrested for playing "a little game of cards" on the 
Texas train, never suspecting that in a free country you 
could not do such a thing. After escaping the rebels and 
the American authorities he was most chagrined to be 
jailed and consequently identified just as he was about 
to recross the border into Mexico. 

Wednesday we had a pleasant limch at the Norwegian 
Legation. The Norwegian minister is the son of Jonas 
Lie. He and his wife are cultivated people of the world, 
and kind friends. Madame Lie always has delicious 
things to eat, very handsomely served. One knows that 
when things are well done here it means that the lady of 
the house has given them her personal care. In the 
evening there was bridge at Mme. Bonilla's. The lights 
suddenly went out, as we were playing, and remained 
out. As is usual in such occurrences, the cry was, *'At 
last the Zapatistas are cutting the wires!" Madame B. 
got out some beautiful old silver candlesticks and we 
played on recklessly, with our fate, perhaps, upon us. 
The street lamps were also dark. 

Mexico City is lighted from Necaxa, nearly a himdred 
miles away, and one of the loveliest spots in the world. 
In a day one drops down from the plateau into the hot 

^57 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

country; the train seems to follow the river, which 
flows through a wild and beautiful barranca y and at 
Necaxa are the great falls supplying the power for this 
wonderful feat of engineering. In my mind it is a mem- 
ory of blue skies, enchanting vistas of blue mountains, 
myriads of blue butterflies against falling water, bright 
singing birds, and the most gorgeous and richest of trop- 
ical vegetation, vine-twisted trees, orchids, morning- 
glories of all kinds, and countless other magnificences. 
I sometimes think that it is because Mother Earth is so 
lavish here, asking only to give, demanding nothing of 
her children, that they have become rather like spoiled 
children. Every mountain oozes with precious ores. On 
the coast, any accidental hole in the earth may reveal 
the oil for which the world is so greedy ; and each green 
thing left to itself will come up a thousandfold. Marvel- 
ous, magical Mexico ! A white moon is shining in through 
the windows of the front salon, making my electric lamp 
seem a dull thing. At this altitude the moonhght cuts 
out objects as if with a steel point. 

Yesterday, Mr. Prince, Aunt Laura's friend, and 
brother-in-law of Mr. C, came to lunch. Mr. C. 
died during the bombardment, and in his last illness was 
moved from house to hospital, and from the hospital, 
when that was shelled, to another house, opposite the 
Embassy. During the armistice Mr. P. was able to go 
out for a coffin, and to take it himself on a cab to the cem- 
etery. This was the only way to dispose of it, the town 
being under fire at the time. That same week one of 
the Httle boys had his foot crushed by the tramway, and 
it had to be amputated while shot and shell were f alHng 
and his father was lying dead. Emma, the child who 
fell through my glass roof, two years ago, has never 
since walked. A chapter of tragedies! Mrs. C. is now 
in the States, trying to recuperate. 

158 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Hanihara, the bright secretary from the Japanese 
Foreign Office, who is here to look into the conditions 
and, doubtless, the possibilities of the Japanese situa- 
tion in Mexico, turned up yesterday; we used to know 
him in Washington. He speaks English perfectly, and is 
Europeanized, externally, to an unusual extent, but, of 
course, he remains completely Japanese at bottom. I 
shall give a luncheon for him at Chapultepec, with his 
minister, the retiring Austrian charge, and the new Ital- 
ian minister, who fell at my door, the day before yes- 
terday, and was laid up with a bad knee. I had him 
bound up by Dr. Ryan. 

I saw a man yesterday who had known Villa in his 
purely peon days; he said some mental, if not moral, 
evolution had been going on; among other things, he 
generally keeps to the regulation amount of clothing, but 
a collar gets on his nerves almost as much as the men- 
tion of Porfirio Diaz — his pet abomination. He keeps 
himself fairly clean, and has shown himself clever about 
finding capable agents to whom he is willing to leave the 
gentler mysteries of the three R's. We wonder who is 
getting out certain polished political statements appear- 
ing under his name. What he once did to an official 
document, on an official occasion, instead of signing his 
name, pen cannot relate. He evidently has military- 
gifts, but remains, imfortunately, one of the most ig- 
norant, sanguinary, and ruthless men in Mexico's history, 
knowing nothing of the amenities of life, nothing of 
statesmanship, nor of government in any form except 
force. And he may inhabit Chapultepec. 

D'Antin brought home a beautiful saltillo, a hand- 
woven, woolen sort of set ape, about a himdred years old, 
that he got from an Indian at a price so small I hate to 
think of it. He saw it on the Indian on the street, one 
cold night, and his clever eye realized what it was. I am 

159 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

not quite happy about it; but I have had it disinfected 
and cleaned. I can only bring myself to use it because 
some one said the Indian had probably stolen it. 
, Elim is singing at the top of his voice the popular air, 
"Marieta, no seas coqueta porque los hombres son muy 
malos'' ("Marieta, don't be a coquette, because men 
are very wicked"). 

January 23d, Evening, 
I spent a quiet evening reading the fascinating book 
Don L. Garcia Pimentel sent me yesterday, Bihliografia 
Mexicana de lo Sigh XVI. I am impressed anew with 
the wonderful work done by that handful of friars, Fran- 
ciscans and Dominicans, who came over immediately 
after Cort6s and began with the Conquistadores the 
work of Spanish civilization in the new world. Their 
first acts, as they made their way through the country, 
were to do away with the bloody sacrificial rites which 
disgraced and discredited the Aztec civilization. They 
built everywhere churches, hospitals, and schools, teach- 
ing gentler truths to the Indians, who gathered by 
thousands for instruction in the beautiful old patios to 
be found in front of all the colonial churches. 

One might almost say that Mexico was civilized by 
that handful of friars, sixteen or seventeen in all, who 
came over during the first eight or ten years following 
the Conquest. Their burning zeal to give the true faith 
to the Indians dotted this beautiful land with countless 
churches, and an energy of which we can have no concep- 
tion changed the gorgeous wilderness into a great king- 
dom. Padre Gante, one of the greatest of them, who ar- 
rived in 1522, was related to the Emperor Charles V. He 
had been a man of the world, and was a musician and an 
artist. He had his celebrated school at Tlaltelolco, now 
the Plaza de Santiago, which, shabby and shorn of all its 
ancient beauty, is used as the city customs headquarters. 

160 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

He wrote his Doctrina Christiana and baptized hundreds 
of thousands of Indians during his fifty years' work. He 
not only taught them to read and write, but started 
schools of drawing and painting, at which he found them 
very apt. They already possessed formulas for all sorts 
of beautiful colors, and had their own arts, such as the 
glazing and painting of potteries, the making of marvel- 
ous garments of bright birds' feathers, and of objects 
in gold and silver, of the finest workmanship. In the 
museum one can see beautiful old maps of Mexico City 
when she was Anahuac, the glory of the Aztecs, painted 
on cloth made from the maguey. 

Fray Bartolome de las Casas worked with Fray Gante, 
and they were greatly aided by the first viceroys. Fray 
Motolinia came later, and his Historia de los Indios is the 
reference book of all succeeding works on Nueva Espagna. 
The friars tried by every means to alleviate the miseries 
of the Indians, and hospitals, homes for the aged and 
decrepit, orphanages and asylums of all kinds were es- 
tablished. The generation which immediately succeeded 
the Conquest must have been a tragic spectacle, ex- 
hausted by resistance and later on by the pitiless work 
of rebuilding cities, especially Mexico City, which was 
done in four years — to the soimd of the whip. The vice- 
roys were responsible only to the Consejo de las Indias, 
in far-away Spain, and their success came naturally to 
be judged by the riches they secured from this treasure- 
house of the world, at the expense, of course, of the 
Indians, though many of the viceroys tried honestly, in 
conjunction with the friars, to alleviate the Indian lot. 
Seven or eight volumes of hitherto unpublished works 
are waiting for me from Don Luis Garcia Pimentel, to one 
of whose ancestors, Conde de Benavente, Motolinia ded- 
icated his Historia de los Indios. 1 have simply steeped 
myself in Mexicana — from the letters of Cortes, the re- 

i6i . 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

citals of Bemal Diaz, who came over with him, down to 
Aleman and Madame Calderon de la Barca. 

Well, it is getting late and I must stop, but the his- 
tory of Mexico is without exception the most fascinating, 
the most romantic, and the most improbable in the world; 
and the seed of Spanish civilization implanted in this 
marvelous land has produced a florescence so magnetic, 
so magical, that the dullest feel its charm. All that has 
been done for Mexico the Spaniards did, despite their 
cruelties, their greeds, and their passions. We, of the 
north, have used it only as a quarry, leaving no monu- 
ments to God nor testaments to man in place of the 
treasure that we have piled on departing ship or train. 
Now we seem to be handing back to Indians very 
like those the Spaniards found, the fruits of a great civiH- 
zation, for them to trample in the dust. Let us not call 
it human service. 

January 24th.' 
Von Hintze came in for a while this morning. Like 
all the foreign representatives, he is weary of his work 
here; so many ennuis y so much waiting for what they all 
believe alone can be the outcome now — ^American su- 
premacy in some form. 

Shots were heard in town last night. Dr. Ryan, 
who is making his home with us, thought it might be the 
long-threatened cuartelazo (barracks' revolution), and 
went out to see, but it tiu^ned out to be only a little pri- 
vate shooting. The Burnsides have gone to live at 
Vera Cruz. 

January 26th. 
Only a word before beginning a busy day, I must go 
out to Chapultepec to see that the limcheon of twelve, 
for Hanihara and Cambiaggio, is all right. The town is 
filling with Japanese officers from the Idzuma, lying at 
Manzanillo. There will be a veritable demonstration for 

162 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

them, indicating very completely the anti-American 
feeling. There is an enormous official program for every 
hour until Friday night, when they return to their ship. 

Evening. 

My luncheon for Hanihara went off very pleasantly, 
at Chapultepec. That restaurant is the knife with which 
I have cut the gordion knot of entertaining. The new 
Italian minister was there, the Norwegians, Mr. E. N. 
Brown, president of the National Railways, Parra, from 
the Foreign Office, and others. We reached home at 
four o'clock, and I drove immediately to the Garcia 
Pimentels, where Don Luis was waiting to show me some 
of the special treasures in his library. Up-stairs, the 
handsome daughters and their equally handsome friends, 
married and single, were sewing for the Red Cross. We 
meet there every Tuesday. Each daughter had a beauti- 
fully embroidered rehozo thrown over her smart Paris 
gown d la Mexicana — ^heirlooms of the family. 

The house is one of the noble, old-style Mexican 
edifices, with a large patio^ and a fine stairway leading 
up to the corridor that winds around its four palm- and 
flower-banked sides. Large, handsome rooms, with pic- 
tures, rare engravings, priceless porcelains, and old bro- 
cades, open from the corridor. I merely put my head in 
at the door of the big drawing-room where they were 
working, as Don Luis was waiting for me in his library 
down-stairs. I spent a couple of delightful hours with 
him, among his treasures, so lovingly guarded through 
generations. Oh, those fascinating title-pages in reds 
and blacks, that thick, rich-feeling hand-woven paper, 
that changeless ink, fit to perpetuate those romantic his- 
tories and the superhuman achievement of the men of 
God ! I could scarcely put down the beautifully written 
letter of Cortes to Charles V., wherein he tells of the 

163 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Indians as he found them. They so closely resemble the 
Indians as I have found them. 

Many of Don Luis's most valuable books and manu- 
scripts were found in Spain, and his library of Mexicana 
embraces everything obtainable down to our own time.^ 
His wife is a charming woman, very grande dame, culti- 
vated, and handsome. She and her daughters are always 
busy with countless works of charity. Just now they are 
busy making up little bundles of layettes for the mater- 
nity home. It does make one's fingers nimble to see 
Indian women obliged to wrap their babies in news- 
papers ! 

I had just time to get home and dress for dinner at the 
British Legation, but we came away at half past nine, 
leaving the rest of the party playing bridge. ■ I had on 
again the gray-and- silver Worth dress, but I feel sad 
without my black things. 

Evening, January 27th. 

This afternoon I went with de Soto to see Mme. 
Lefaivre at the Museo Nacional, where she is copying an 
old Spanish screen. It is always a pleasure to go through 
the lovely, sun-baked patioy filled with gods and altars 

1 This noble house has since passed into alien hands, and the great 
library is scattered. Senora Garcia Pimentel was, fortunately, able to 
send a few of the most valuable manuscripts to England — the Cortes let- 
ters, the famous Motolinia manuscript, dedicated to the Conde de Ben- 
avente, a first edition of Cervantes, the "Dialogos" of Salazar, and a vol- 
ume or two of Padre de la Vera Cruz and Padre Sahagun. She and 
her unmarried daughter took these away, concealed under shawls, when 
they were obliged to leave the house. There had been a sudden loud 
knocking at the door in the dead of night, followed by the entry of Carrap- 
zista officials. Madame Garcia Pimentel and her beautiful daughter were 
alone in the house at the time; the father and sons, in danger of their 
lives, had been secretly got to Vera Cruz, some time before. 

The far-famed library of Casasus has also been scattered, its treasures 
destroyed. Sometimes a priceless volume has been bought for a few 
cents from a street vender, by some one on the lookout, but mostly 
these treasures have forever disappeared.— E.O'S. 

164 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

of a lost race. Many of them, found in the Zocalo, have 
made but a short journey to their resting-place. De Soto 
is always an agreeable companion for any little excur- 
sion into the past — though it isn't the past we are dream- 
ing about, these days. And as for his looks, put a lace 
ruff and a velvet doublet on him and he would be a 
** Velasquez" of the best epoch. 

Mme. Lefaivre, enveloped in an apron, was sitting on 
a little step-ladder before the largest screen I have ever 
seen, its eight mammoth leaves representing various 
amorous scenes, lovers, balconies, guitars, etc. — all most 
decorative and truly ambassadorial. I told her that 
nothing but the Farnese Palace would be big enough 
for it, and the light of dreams — the kind of dreams we 
all dream — appeared in her eyes. The big sala was get- 
ting a bit dim, so she left her work and we started for a 
turn through the museum. When we found ourselves 
talking of Huerta by the ''Morning Star," a mysterious, 
hard-faced, green god (his little name is Tlahuizcalpan- 
tecuhtli), I thought we might as well take a turn in the 
motor; so we went up to Chapul tepee and continued the 
discourse under the cypresses, which are growing, though 
slowly, with the Hving events that alone really interest 
one. The past is for those with peace and leisure. 

Evening. 

A quiet day, but we are distressed beyond words at the 
renewed reports of a lifting of the embargo on arms and 
ammunition for the rebels. I feel as if I couldn't stand 
it, and N. even felt that he ought to resign if it hap- 
pens. The ship of state is going so inevitably on the 
rocks. He will make some sort of protest to Wash- 
ington against the advisability of this move. Villa's 
cry is "On to Mexico," and he may get there, or rather, 
here — if we decide to carry him. 

12 i6s 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

It appears that he is becoming daily more intoxicated 
by the favors of the United States. No one is more sur- 
prised than he at his success with the powers that be, 
and as for the vogue he has with the confidential 
agents, they tell me his face is one broad grin whenever 
their names are mentioned. However, this doesn't mean 
he is going to try to please them. Just now he wants 
Huerta's head, but that foxy old head can have asylum 
here. Shouts and shots were heard an hour or so ago, 
but probably only from some Zapatistas near town. 



xin 

Gamboa — F&tes for the Japanese officers — The Pius Fund — The Toluca 
road — Brown, of the National Railways — President Wilson raises the 
embargo on arms and ammunition — Hunting for Zapatistas. 

January 2gth. 

YESTERDAY the handsome Mexican set came for 
bridge, and in the evening we went to dine at Seiior 
Pardo's house. He is the clever attorney for the * * Mexi- 
can" railways. Federico Gamboa and his wife were 
there. Gamboa is most amusing, with one of those 
minds that answer to the point in conversation, what the 
French call le don de la r^pUque. He was Minister for 
Foreign Affairs last summer, and resigned to run for 
President, as choice of the Clerical party. Huerta said, 
quite frankly, of him to N. a few days ago, "I told him I 
liked him and wished him well, but if he had been elect- 
ed President I should have had him shot." 

Gamboa' s answer to Mr. L. last August, though not 
satisfactory to us when laid by Mr. Wilson before Con- 
gress, remains a dignified, clever, and unimpeachable ex- 
pose of the Mexican situation from their point of view, 
which is that the United States, by every international 
law, is tinwarranted in interfering in their interior affairs, 
as these, however unfortunate, are those of a sovereign 
state. They never got over the fact that the communi- 
cations Mr. Lind brought with him were tactfully ad- 
dressed to no one in particular, and referred to the 
government as "the persons who at the present tim.e 
have authority or exercise influence in Mexico." They 

167 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

consider that if they even once allowed such counsel from 
the United States they would compromise indefinitely 
their destinies as a sovereign state. 

As for the phrase ''the United States will not hesitate 
to consummate matters, especially in times of domestic 
trouble, in the way that they, the United States, con- 
sider best for Mexico" — it is graven on the mind of 
every Mexican who can read and write. Concerning our 
professions of friendship, which left them decidedly cold, 
Gamboa neatly said that never could there be a more 
propitious time for displaying it, that we had "only 
to watch that no material or military assistance of any 
kind be given to the rebels who find refuge, conspire, and 
provide themselves with arms and food on the other side 
of the border." He further quietly states that he is 
greatly surprised that Mr. Lind's mission should be 
termed a "mission of peace," as, fortunately, neither 
then nor to-day had there existed any state of war 
between Mexico and the United States. The whole 
document is the tragic and bootless appeal of a weak 
nation to a strong. 

Gamboa has had numerous diplomatic posts. He was 
minister to Brussels and to The Hague, and special am- 
bassador to Spain to thank the King for participation 
in the Centenary of 1910. . . . 

After the Pardo dinner, two bright-eyed, clear-voiced 
Mexican girls, one of them Pardo's daughter, sang Mexi- 
can songs with the true beat and lilt to them. Hanihara 
was also there, listening to the music in the usual de- 
tached. Oriental manner. The Japanese officers are be- 
ing tremendously fitedy fed by each and every depart- 
ment of the government, till I should think their 
abstemious "little Marys" would rebel. 

After dinner we walked home, a short distance, in the 
mild night, under a strangely low and starry sky. It 

168 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

seemed to me that by reaching out I could have had a 
planet for my own. . The streets were deserted, save for 
an occasional Mexican, hurrying home, with his scarf 
across his mouth. There is a tradition here about not 
inhaling the night air. Here and there a guardia shiv- 
ered in the shadows, as he watched his lantern, which 
he always places in the middle of the four crossings. 
One can walk with jewels gleaming, and without fear, 
under the Dictator. 

Dr. Ryan left last night for Washington. I don't like 
to interfere with any one's premier mouvement, but I 
know it for an expensive, bootless trip. No one will care 
what he thinks about the certain consequences of the 
raising of the embargo. 

The rebels have just destroyed twenty-two huge tanks 
of oil near Tampico, destined for the running of the rail- 
road between San Luis Potosi and the coast. I think 
I told you Mr. Brown said that the gross receipts had 
never been so big on his lines as last month, in spite of 
the danger in traveling, but that they could not keep 
pace with the immense damage going on all the time. 
Mr. Brown is the self-made man of story. He began at 
the foot of the ladder and is now the president of the 
** National Railways"; quiet, poised, shrewd, and agree- 
able. Mexico owes him n^uch. 

Evening, 

The Mexican papers come out with the statement that 
President Wilson can't raise the embargo on arms and 
ammunition without the consent of Congress, which, if 
true, removes it as an immediate calamity. 

This morning they rang up from the American grocery 
to say that the stores ordered yesterday had not arrived, 
as the man who was delivering them was taken by the 
press-gang, with all the provisions. A nice way to pop- 
Vilari^e a government! 

169 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Nelson has been requested by the powers that be 
to use his influence about the release of a certain Ameri- 
can, the suggestion being added that he should not be too 
cordial with Huerta in public, as the United States was on 
official, not friendly terms with Mexico. The old man 
would shut up Uke a clam and never raise a finger for N., 
or any American, or any American interests, if N. did 
not treat him with both public and private courtesy. 
In these difficult days the position here is almost en- 
tirely a personal equation. N. has danced the tight-rope, 
up to now, to the satisfaction of almost everybody, 
in spite of the inevitable jealousies and enmities. It is 
entirely due to N.'s personal efforts that the Pius Fund 
of $43,000, has just been paid; due to him that many 
prisoners have been released, and that many material 
ends have been gained for the United States. 

I think history will testify that Huerta showed much 
tact in dealing with us. His latest remark is, *Tf our 
great and important neighbor to the north chooses to 
withhold her friendship, we can but deplore it — and try 
to perform our task without her.*' 

Elim asked me, yesterday, "Where is our Uncle Sam, 
that everybody talks about?" He thought he was on 
the track of a new relative. 

Later. 

A military revolt is brewing here — Felicista. N. got 
wind of it. If it comes, they must give us Huerta, and 
have so promised. We have had comparative, very com- 
parative, quiet for a few weeks, and now things are 
seething again. 

There is a room here always ready, which we call 
nacht asyl, and various uneasy heads have rested there in 
the famous ''bed of the murderess." Yesterday I bought 
a lot of lovely dull blue-and-white serapes for th^ 
flpor and cpuch. 

179 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

On returning from bridge at Madame Lefaivre's, where 
I left de Soto losing with more than his usual melancholy 
distinction, I found the Japanese minister with the cap- 
tain of the Idzuma, in full regimentals, come to call — 
but N. was out. The captain said he wanted to express 
especially and officially to N. his appreciation of all the 
courtesies he had received from Admiral Cowles, and the 
other officers of our ships at Manzanillo. He spoke 
French and English only fairly well, as they do. I 
was very cordial, of course, and said that in these 
difficult moments all must be friends, must stand by 
one another, and show mutual understanding of dif- 
ficulties. As I looked at him I thought, for some reason, 
of the horrors suffered and the deeds of valor per- 
formed by his race in the Russo-Japanese War, with- 
out question or thought of individuals. He espied 
Iswolsky's photograph and Adatchi showed him Demi- 
doff's picture, saying that Elim was his namesake. 
They never forget anything. 

The officers had all been out to the celebrated pyra- 
mid of San Juan Teotihuacan to-day, with the Minister 
of Public Instruction. It is a fatiguing trip, but an ex- 
cursion always arranged for strangers of distinction. (I 
made it with Madero, mounting those last great steps, 
exhausted and dripping, on his arm.) They, the Japa- 
nese, were going to the Jockey Club, where Moheno, the 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, is to give them a dinner. 
The government is so in debt to the various restaurants 
here that they couldn't get credit for the dinner at Sil- 
vain's, as first planned. 

I met Lady Garden at bridge this afternoon. She 
feels badly at the way things have developed for her 
husband. He has been called to London "to report'*; d 
la Henry Lane Wilson to Washington, I suppose. 
Hohler, who was charge when we first came to Mexico, 

171 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

is already en route from England to take over the Lega- 
tion during Sir Lionel's absence — but I suppose Sir L. 
will never return. I told Lady Garden to give Sir Lionel 
my best regards, and added that it wasn't, by any 
means, all beer and skittles at the Embassy. 

Sir L. shouldn't have tried, however, to "buck" the 
United States. All the representatives have become a 
bit more cautious as to how they approach "the policy," 
since the unpleasant newspaper notoriety Sir Lionel and 
Paul May received. Lady Garden is not going, I am 
glad to say, and we are all making plans to console her 
for Sir L.'s absence. 

January 31st. 

Your cable "Love" received yesterday. I sent a 
cable, ''Bene,'' in answer. I have been thinking all day 
of those hours, many years ago, when my precious 
mother was lying with me, her first-born, in her arms. 

N. is in receipt of a proclamation from revolutionary 
agents in Mexico Gity. The part referring to foreigners 
states that any protection given by them to Huerta or 
to his intimates will result in their immediate execu- 
tion, and that no flag will be respected in such cases. It 
is one of those nice, little, confidence-inspiring docimients 
which induce one to ponder on the Mexican situation, 
not as it might be or ought to be, but as it is. Its cap- 
tion, ''La revolucidn es revolucidny' is completely ex- 
pressive. 

February ist. Afternoon. 

A few lines while waiting for tea and callers. This 
morning we made a wonderful run out the Toluca road 
with Seeger and Mr. and Madame Graux, our Belgian 
friends, Chemins de Jer secondaires, as we call them. 
After Tacubaya the road rises high above the city, and 
for miles we motored along the heights, through stretches 
of dazzling white tepetate and pink tezontle, the building- 

172 




THE GUARD THAT STOPPED US 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

stones of the city from immemorial days. The road was 
fairly alive with Indians bringing in their wares, this 
Sunday morning. They came from Toluca, seventy kilo- 
meters distant, moving tirelessly over their roads with 
the quick, short Aztec trot, and bearing such loads of 
pottery, baskets, and wood, that nothing can be seen 
of them but their feet. This is also a Zapatista country, 
and we had provided ourselves with three pistols. 
High in the hills could be seen the smoke of camp-fires, 
Zapatistas or charcoal-burners. It was on this road that 
the son of the Minister of War, Blanquet, was held up 
about three weeks ago. His party was stripped and its 
members sent home as they were born, even that last 
possible covering, the floor-rug of the motor, being re- 
moved. 

However, beyond being stopped at intervals by gen- 
darmes, who tried, unsuccessfully, to make us leave our 
pistols at the jefetura of their little village, we were not 
interfered with. Our cry of Embajada Americana y though 
not over-popular now, had not lost all its potency. In 
spite of the dazzling sun it is very cold on the heights, 
and in the little village where we stopped to "water" 
our car a coughing, sneezing, sniffling crowd of half- 
naked, shivering Indians gathered around us, evidently 
suffering from one of those bronchial epidemics so prev- 
alent in these thin, high atmospheres. I fear that our 
coppers, though acceptable, were not therapeutic, as, 
doubtless, they all rounded up at the nearest pulqueria 
after our departure. We could not decide to turn lunch- 
ward, but kept on and on, until we had dipped into the 
Toluca Valley as far as the statue of Hidalgo, commem- 
orating the spot where he met the viceregal forces in 
1 82 1. It always seems to me a sad spot, for when the 
Spaniards fell, with the exception of Diaz's thirty years, 
the last stable government of Mexico also fell. 

173 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

At the base of the statue three Indian women were 
sitting — enredadas. Each had a baby slung over her 
back and a burden by her side, giving the scene the 
mysterious, changeless, lonely Indian note. In Mexico, 
nothing is ever missing from any picture to make it beau- 
tiful and peculiarly itself. 

A very gratifying letter came to-day from Mr. John 
Bassett Moore, counselor of the State Department. 
There are so many difficulties, so many enmities ready 
to lift their poisoned heads, so many delicate transac- 
tions, so much hanging in the balance, that it is gratifying 
to have, sometimes, an appreciative word from head- 
quarters. Also a very nice letter came from General 
Crozier. I am so glad of that Mexican visit of his two 
years ago. He will understand just what the situation 
is — and many things besides. 

Nelson spent all Saturday morning getting the 1914 
instalment of the Pius Fund, the twelfth payment since 
the Hague decision in 1902. Diaz intended to pay off 
the principal, but now, of course, the country is in no 
condition to do so. We went down to Hacienda 
(Treasury Department). I sat in the auto in the sun, 
in the historic Zocalo, from immemorial days the focus of 
Mexican events. The officials had only $37,000 of the 
$43,000, but told N. to return at half past twelve, 
and they would have the other six for him. I couldn't 
help wondering where they got it. Finally it was all 
safely deposited in the bank. We then picked up the 
Graux at the Hotel Sanz and motored out for luncheon 
and golf at the Country Club. 

February ist, 10.30 P.M. 

To-night has come the long-feared cable from Wash- 
ington stating that the President intends to raise the em- 
bargo on arms and ammunition. The note was for 
Nelson's special information, not for delivery to the 

174 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Foreign Office yet, but the hour will come when he will 
have to gird himself to do the deed. It has been sent 
to every chancery in Europe, where it will raise a storm, 
to blow hard or not, according to the amount of material 
investments in Mexico. We scarcely know what to 
think; we are dazed and aghast. I am glad that a few 
hours, at least, must elapse before the facts will get out. 
I shall hardly dare to venture forth unveiled. Courteous 
as the Mexicans have been to Nelson and myself, some 
day, in face of the terrible catastrophes we have brought 
upon them, their patience must fail. This act will not 
establish the rebels in Mexico City or anywhere else, 
but will indefinitely prolong this terrible civil war and 
swell the tide of the blood of men and women, "and the 
children — oh, my brothers." 

I think Wilhelmstrasse, Downing Street, Quai d'Orsay, 
Ballplatz, and all the other Ministires will pick many a 
flaw in the President's document ; but what can they do 
except anathematize us behind our backs? 

February 2d. 
My first thought, on awaking this morning, was of the 
irremediable catastrophe threatening this beautiful land. 
Nelson says he thinks Huerta will disregard it, as he has 
disregarded all other moves of Mr. Wilson; but it can 
be nothing but a further source of terrible embarrass- 
ment. 

February 3d, 11 a.m. 

The second telegram has just come, saying that the 
President intends, within a few hours, to raise the em- 
bargo, and that N. is to inform all Americans and 
foreigners. I keep repeating to myself: "God! God! 
God!" A generation of rich and poor alike will be at the 
mercy of the hordes that will have new strength and 
means to fight, and eat, and pillage, and rape their way 
through the country. There will be a stampede of 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

people leaving town to-night and to-morrow, but those 
in the interior, what of them? There is sure to be vio- 
lent anti- American demonstration, especially in out-of- 
the-way places. 

12.30. 

The news previously leaked out from Vera Cruz last 
night. Nothing gets out from the Embassy, as our staff 
all happen to know how to keep their counsel. It is what 
Mr. Lind has wanted for months, and I suppose the 
news was too satisfactory to keep. You will read it 
in to-morrow's Paris Herald and the Journal de Genhe. 
Don't worry about us. We will have first-class safe- 
guard if Huerta declares war. He may not. It is 
his policy, and a strong one it has been, to ignore 
Washington's proclamations. On the other hand, ,he 
will have no intention of being caught by Villa, Hke 
a rat in a hole; and war with us may seem to him a 
glorious solution of his problems. Villa and Car- 
ranza will not arrive in the city together. No street is 
broad enough to permit the double entry of their con- 
trary passions, violence, and greed. 

It is **to laugh" when Villa is thanked publicly and 
officially for his kind promises in regard to life and prop- 
erty in the north. 

February 3d. Evening. 

A busy day — as you can well imagine. N. had to 
inform the various legations. I went down-town with 
him for luncheon, a thing I never do. We met the Span- 
ish minister driving up the Paseo in his victoria — a 
pathetic figure. He has had so much worry and heart- 
break over the situation and has been so helpless in the 
face of the disasters which have befallen his nationals 
that he is beyond surprise. Upon hearing the news 
he merely made a tired gesture of acquiescence. To him 
the raising of the embargo was, doubtless, only one mor^ 

176 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

inexplicable thing. Von Hintze was out, and we next 
stopped at the French Legation, just opposite the Ger- 
man. Ayguesparsse, the secretary, possessed of one of 
the most elegant silhouettes in the world, was more than 
polite, but quite impassive, as he came out with Nelson 
to speak a word to me. He is married to a handsome 
young Mexican — the sister of Rincon Gaillardo, Mar- 
ques de Guadalupe — whose time, strength, money, and 
life, if need be, are at the disposition of his country. 

When we got to the restaurant in Plateros, the most 
public and alarm-allaying spot we could think of, the 
newspaper men assailed N. with questions. The ' ' story ' ' 
that they are after is what the relations of Huerta 
would be to N. and the Embassy, and they announce 
that they were not going to let the charge out of their 
sight. 

After lunch, at which Mr. S. joined us, we went to the 
British Legation. N. gave Sir L. the news, while I 
walked in the garden with Lady C, both of us wilted, 
with nerves on edge. I came home, rested for a few min- 
utes, and then dressed, and went out to fulfil my after- 
noon program of calls, turning up late for bridge at 
Madame Simon's. She asked me squarely, though in 
the politest of French, **What is your government 
doing?" I saw many people during the afternoon, 
but, apart from her greeting, there was no word of 
politics. I think the matter is too distasteful to the 
public to be discussed with any one like myself, where 
care in the expression of feeling is necessary. 

I drove home with Lady C, who was quietly aghast at 
the situation, just in time to get into a tea-gown and 
down-stairs for dinner. In the salon Seeger and the 
Graux (who leave to-morrow for Vera Cruz and New 
York) were waiting. N. telephoned that he was at the 
Palace, just going in to see Heurta. You can imagine that 

177 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

we had a lively dinner of surmises. He returned barely 
in time to say good-by to the Graux, and after they left 
we sat up late to talk over the appalling situation. 

Sir Lionel was with the President when N. got there. 
From the violent sounds coming through the half- 
opened door, N. thought that the old man was at last 
losing patience and control, and prepared himself for the 
worst. However, when N. finally went in Huerta was 
perfectly calm and had never been more friendly. He 
never mentioned President Wilson's name, and concern- 
ing the raising of the embargo quietly remarked that it 
would not change matters much, but would merely give 
a recognized name to the smuggling over the border that 
had been going on for three years. He kept repeating 
that the future would justify him; that he had had 
nothing to do with the killing of Madero; that the atti- 
tude of the administration toward him was simply "a 
persecution." N. said he never flinched. He terminated 
the interview by saying that he greatly appreciated 
N.'s public as well as private courtesies, and that 
he was **very necessary to the situation," whereupon 
he ordered copitas, and the embargo question was dis- 
missed. 

Apropos of copitasy while we were talking N. was 
nmg up to hear that an English woman reporter and 
Wallace, the cine man, sent us from the State Depart- 
ment, had been put in prison for trying to take a photo- 
graph of Huerta at the Cafe Colon, while he was taking 
his capita. They were both released at a late, or rather 
an early hour, and I think they richly deserved their 
experience. Huerta's reputation for drinking is very 
much exaggerated. 

The hall, stairway, and chancery were black with re- 
porters all the evening, until one o'clock. It has been a 
long day of responsibility, excitement, and fatigue. 

178 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

February 4th. 

The newspapers have appalling head-lines about Pres- 
ident Wilson. El Puritano, with his mask off, the 
avowed friend of bandits and assassins, is about the 
mildest sample. 

Evening. 

Another full day. I had errands all the morning. In 
the afternoon, after being undecided as to whether I 
would shine by my absence or turn the full light of my 
American coimtenance on my Mexican friends, I decided 
to make calls. I found everybody in. I went first to 
Seiiora Gamboa, where I had to talk Spanish. Fortu- 
nately, they have a few very good antiques on which to 
hang conversation. Then I went to see the Evanses. 
They have bought a handsome old Mexican house which 
we are all interested in seeing them modernize without 
spoiling. After that I drove out to Tacubaya, and on 
the way out the broad calzada saw the leva at work. 
There were about twenty men hedged in by lines of 
soldiers, and two or three disconsolate-looking women. 

Sefiora Escandon's house is situated in the midst of 
one of the beautiful gardens for which Tacubaya is cel- 
ebrated, inclosed by high walls over which run a riot 
of vines and flowers. I found her and her daughter, 
Senora Soriano, at home. The Spanish son-in-law is 
a mechanical genius and spends this revolutionary period 
peacefully constructing small, perfect models of war-ships 
and locomotives. I shall take Elim there when **the 
fleet" is on the little lake in the garden. The Escandons 
are people of immense wealth, agreeable and cultivated, 
but, like all their kind, aloof from politics. Their perfect 
and friendly courtesy made me more than a little sad. 

Going home for a moment, I foimd Clarence Hay 
with Nelson at the gate, and drove him down-town. I 
enjoyed talking English and hearing it instead of speak- 

179 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

ing broken Spanish or listening to broken French. We 
browsed about in an antique-shop and did a httle re- 
freshing haggHng. I stopped at Madame Simon's on my 
way back, where I found Rincon Gaillardo, who is, among 
other things, chief of the rurales. 

He had many interesting things to say about hunting 
for Zapatistas, which seems to be the biggest kind of 
** big-game" shooting. After descending unexpectedly 
upon sleeping villages the Zapatistas retreat to their 
mountain fastnesses. By the time word reaches the 
point where rurales are stationed, the worst has been 
done. The next day innocent-looking persons are beg- 
ging for a centavo or working in the fields. They were 
the bandits of the night before ! It needs a Hercules to 
clear this mountainous country of *'the plague of bri- 
gandage. " A gun, a horse, and full power are naturally 
more attractive than a plow and a corn-field. 

There are rumors of a student demonstration to- 
morrow — ^it is Constitution Day — when they propose to 
march the streets crying, ''Death to Wilson!" Every- 
body was not only polite, but even affectionate in their 
greetings to me. Whatever they thought of yesterday's 
raising of the embargo they kept to themselves or ex- 
pressed when I was absent. Even Rincon Gaillardo, 
who is giving his all — time, money, brain — to the paci- 
fying of the country under Huerta, maintained his 
exquisite calm. 



XIV 

A "neat little haul" for brigands — Tea at San Angel — A picnic and a 
burning village — The lesson of "Two Fools" — Austria- Hungary's new 
minister — Cigarettes in the making — Zapata's message. 

February 6th. 

THERE was no disturbance of any kind yesterday. 
Never were the streets more peaceful, nor the heavens 
more calmly beautiful. Madame Simon had a luncheon 
for the new Austro-Hungarian minister, and afterward we 
all motored out the Toluca road, driving on till from a 
high mountain place we could see the setting sun filling 
the stretches of the Toluca Valley with translucent 
flame colors, mauves, reds, and browns. It was like 
some new Jerusalem or any other promised glory. 
Every time we saw a group on horseback we wondered 
if it were the redoubtable Zapatistas who make that 
part of the world so unquiet. It was all carefully pa- 
trolled, however, with armed men at intervals, cartridge- 
belts full, and guns across their saddles. 

Our party would have been a neat Httle haul for bri- 
gands : the Austro-Himgarian minister, the Italian min- 
ister, Joaquin Garcia Pimentel, Senor and Sefiora Osi, 
Madame Simon, and myself. Senora Osi had on a mag- 
nificent string of pearls, likewise a huge diamond pin 
that blazed in the setting sun. I left my jewels at home, 
and Madame Simon kept hers well covered. I wonder 
that we did get back as we went. It was marvelous, drop- 
ping down from the heights to the glistening town, in the 
mysterious Mexican half-light. 

13 i8i 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

I wonder what President Wilson is going to do about 
the revolution in Peru? I see they have deported Bil- 
linghurst from Callao, and Augusto Durand, the revo^ 
lutionary chief, has assumed the Presidency. There was 
a price on his head a day or two before. It will take 
more than one administration to cure the Latin-Ameri- 
cans of their taste for revolutions. Have sent you a 
Cosmopolitan, with a story, "Two Fools," by Frederick 
Palmer; it deals with a certain burning side of the Mexi- 
can situation, and has excited much comment. 

February 8th. Evening. 

Yesterday we went out to the beautiful San Angel Inn 
for tea, six of us in one motor, two empty motors follow- 
ing. Motoring about this marvelous plateau is one of 
the joys of Mexican life. We watched the sunset over 
the volcanoes until the rose-tinted "White Lady, " Iztac- 
cihuatl, was only a gigantic form lying against a purple 
sky, covered with a blue- white shroud ; then we raced in 
to dine with Clarence Hay and the Tozzers, who had a 
box for a mild circus performance in the evening. 
The night before last, so von Hintze told N. (and he is 
always thoroughly informed), forty men and officers in 
the Guadalupe Hidalgo barracks were shot. They were 
accused, probably justly, of a plot against Huerta. For 
days there have been persistent rumors of a military up- 
rising — cuartelazo, as they call it. Perhaps at the pre- 
destined hour one such rising will succeed. If Huerta is 
forced into bankruptcy and can't pay his troops, what 
will become of us, the foreigners? He stated the full 
truth about elections here when he said that conditions 
were such that the government of the nation must 
necessarily be in the hands of the few. A thoroughgoing 
dictatorship is what he doubtless thinks the best solu- 
tion — from a close acquaintance with his own people. 

182 




Copyright by Underwood & Underwood. 

"the woman in white" — FROM SAN JUAN HILL 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

This morning, after Mass at nine o'clock, I started with 
Seeger, Hay, the Tozzers, and EHm for Texcoco. It was 
marvelous, speeding through the soft, yet brilliant, air, 
each turn of the wheel bringing us to historic spots. 
Texcoco was the "Athens" of Mexico in Aztec days, 
and the whole length of this now so-dusty road was 
done in canoes and barques. There is a great col- 
umn near Chapingo which points the spot Cortes started 
from in his brigantine, in his last desperate and success- 
ful attempt at the conquest of the City of Mexico. It 
was from the ridge of hills beyond that the conquerors 
first looked down on the marvels of Tenochtitlan, set 
among its shining lakes and its myriad gardens. 

We found it was market-day at Texcoco, and Indian 
life was beating its full around the old plaza with its 
Aztec sun-dial, palms, and eucalyptus. Here the In- 
dians set up their innumerable booths with their pot- 
teries, baskets, blankets, fruits, and vegetables. We 
were most amused watching a crowd gathered about 
a steaming caldron. In it a pig, his outline still quite 
intact, was converting himself into soup as fast as 
fire and water could assist him. Cortes, in one of 
the famous letters, gives as detailed an account of an 
Indian market as if he were a modem traveling agent 
sending back data to the firm. In the near-by old 
church his venturesome heart lay for long years. Now 
only unlettered Indians crowd in and out of the place. 
There is a huge adjacent seminary of the Spanish pe- 
riod, unused since the "Laws of Reform." The most 
visible results of the "Laws of Reform" seem to be, as 
far as I have discovered, huge, dusty waste spaces, 
where schools had once been. All over Mexico there 
are such. 

Texcoco doesn't offer many inducements to modern 
picnickers, so we motored back a short distance and 

183 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

stopped at the hacienda of Chapingo, formerly belong- 
ing to Gonsalez, President of Mexico before Diaz's sec- 
ond administration. He was allowed to leave the 
country. As Dooley remarks, ''There is no such word 
as 'ix-Prisidint' in Mexico. They are known as 'the late- 
lamented,' or 'the fugitive from justice'; and the only 
tr'uble the country has with those who remain is to keep 
the grass cut." 

Beautiful avenues of eucalyptus adorn the entrance 
to the gaudy clap-clappy house, and the dozens of peon 
dwelHngs surrounding it. The administrador allowed us 
to have our luncheon in the grounds, and we sat around 
the dry, flower-grown basin of an old fountain. Hay re- 
cited; we picked bunches of violets without moving an 
inch, and watched cheerful lizards darting in and out. 
Coming home, great spiral pillars of dust reached up, 
with a regular rotary motion, to the sky over the lake, 
the results of the drainage works of the lake and valley 
of Texcoco. 

As we passed the Penon and got into the straight home 
road, some one remarked, "Nothing doing in the Zapa- 
tista line this time." A moment afterward, however, vol- 
leys were heard in the direction of Xochimilco, and puffs 
of smoke could be seen. Then about forty rurales gal- 
loped up. The sergeant, a fresh-complexioned, dull- 
witted fellow, stopped us and asked if we knew from 
where the firing came. We apparently knew more than 
he, little as it was. He continued, in a helpless way: 
"Those are Mauser shots, pero no hay tren, no hay tele- 
fono. Como vamos a hacerf' ("but we have no train, we 
have no telephone. What are we to do?") When we 
asked him the name of the village (pueblo) where it 
was going on, he shrugged his shotilders and answered, 
"Quien sabeV Finally we left the rurales to their own 
devices and came upon a group of women running for 

184 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

their lives and virtue. They all learn to get out of the 
way of the soldiers, as they are obliged to hear dreadful 
groseriaSy if nothing worse. A pink- or blue-skirted fig- 
ure being chased in the maguey-fields is no uncommon 
sight. 

We came back to the Embassy and had tea, learning 
that a huge fire we had seen burning on the side of a 
not-distant hill, and which we thought might be from a 
charcoal-burners' camp, was a village the Zapatistas 
had pillaged and set on fire at two o'clock, while we were 
peacefully picnicking in '"violet-crowned" Chapingo. 

The Tozzers and Clarence Hay leave for Oaxaca and 
Mitla, to-morrow night, for a week's trip. I would have 
loved to go, but "No traveling" is our motto. We must 
keep out of possible troubles. Later Kanya de Kanya, 
the new Austro-Hungarian minister, came to call. He 
has been ten years in the Foreign Office in Vienna, and is 
glad to be out of the turmoil of Near-East politics. For 
him Mexico is relatively quiet. There are only about 
five or six hundred of his nationals in the whole country, 
as there has been little or nothing here for them since the 
Maximilian tragedy. Kanya is a Hungarian. He will 
be a pleasant colleague, and I certainly hope the Magyar 
will show itself. He is said to be very musical. 

In the evening Seeger came back for dinner ; also Bum- 
side, who is up from Vera Cruz for a day or so. We had 
a "political" evening. Going back over things, it does 
seem as if the United States, in conniving at the elimi- 
nation of Diaz, three years ago, had begun the deadly 
work of disintegration here. 

But all the time I kept before my mind's eye the 
enchanting background of blue hills and lakes shining 
in the slanting sun, millions of wild ducks flying across 
the Lake of Chalco, and, above it, the smoldering vil- 
lage, the reverberations of the Mauser rifles below! 

185 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

February gth. 

There was a pleasant luncheon at the Lefaivres' for 
Kanya. They — the Lefaivres — are both worn out with 
their long Mexican sojourn, five years, and the heavy 
responsibilities entailed by the ever-increasing French 
material losses, and are planning to go on leave in 
March. They are good friends and I shall miss 
them greatly, but I have learned to be philosophic 
about partings. Life keeps filling up, like a miraculous 
pitcher. 

The newspapers have been getting the details of the 
horrible disaster in the Cumbre tunnel in Chihuahua, a 
few days ago. A bandit chief, Castillo, set fire to it by 
running into it a burning lumber-train. A passenger- 
train came along, collided with the debris, and all that 
has been recovered is a few charred bones. It is near 
the frontier, and it is said that Villa allowed the rescue- 
party to have an escort of American soldiers. There 
were a number of American women and children on the 
train; but it is a momentous step — or may be — for 
American troops to get into Mexico. Castillo did the 
thing, it is said, to revenge himself on Villa. This latter 
is getting a taste of the responsibilities success entails. 
He has Chihuahua, and Juarez, and a long line of railway 
to protect, and I am sure he doesn't find guerilla war- 
fare a recommendable pastime, when it is directed 
against himself and his ambitions. 

February loth. 

This morning we went over the magnificent Buen Tono 
cigarette-factories. Pugibet, who sold cigarettes in the 
street forty years ago, is the founder and millionaire 
owner. The factory is a model in all ways, and a testi- 
mony to his brains, energy, and initiative. He showed 
us over the vast place himself. In one pf the rooms he 

1 86 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

had refrained from installing machinery, as it meant 
taking work from hundreds of women. 

Oh, the deftness and skill of those beautiful Indian 
hands! Their motions were so quick that one hardly 
saw anything but the finished article. He loaded us with 
cigarettes and many souvenirs, and we drove home 
after a visit to the big church he had built near by. 
On arriving home, I found the words, *'Papa," "Mama," 
*'Elim," and *'Kuss," written in white chalk, in high 
letters, on the entrance-door. I hated to have them 
removed. 

N. has protested to the Foreign Office regarding the 
scurrilous language the Imparcial has used about the 
President, the Imparcial being a government organ. 
"Wicked Puritan with sorry horse teeth," "Exotic and 
nauseous Carranzista pedagogue," are samples of its 
style. 

Evening. 

I have had a stone for a heart all day, thinking of the 
horrors that are to be multiplied. Nelson went to see 
Gamboa this afternoon. Incidentally the raising of 
the embargo was mentioned, and Gamboa said he 
thought Huerta might declare war. Like all the rest, 
he is doubtless ready to desert the old man. Apr is 
moile dduge and " the devil take the hindmost " are the 
sentiments governing people here. Mr. Jennings just 
rang up to ask if we had heard that the letter-bag of the 
Zapatistas had been seized. In it was a letter to Presi- 
dent Wilson from Zapata, saying he upheld and was 
in perfect accord with his (Wilson's) policy toward 
Huerta. A smile on the face of every one ! 

I went to the Garcia Pimentels' at four o'clock, where 
we sewed till seven for the Red Cross. The women there 
were all wives or daughters of wealthy hacendados. 
They asked me if there was any news, and as usual, 

187 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

I answered, "Nothing new," but I felt my eyes grow 
dim. This measure will strike them hard. The kacen- 
dados in this part of the country have made great sac- 
rifices to co-operate with the Federal government (it is 
the only visible thing in the shape of government) in the 
hope of preserving their properties and helping toward 
peace. 

There were crowds before the Church of the Profesa 
in "Plateros" as I drove home. The church had been 
gutted by fire the night before, its second misfortune 
since we arrived. Its great dome was rent during the 
terrific earthquake of the 7th of June, 191 1 — that un- 
forgetable day on which I saw Madero make his tri- 
umphant entry into Mexico. At half past four in the 
morning the town was rocked like a ship in a gale, with a 
strange sound of great wind. 

The Profesa, which has only just been repaired, was 
built late in the sixteenth century, and was a center of 
Jesuit activity. In the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 
turies all the great marriages, baptisms, and functions 
took place in it. One can see in one's mind the array of 
proud viceroys and their jewel-decked spouses and all 
the glittering functionaries, and last, but not least, the 
inevitable accompaniment of the Indian population, 
wandering in and out. Yesterday, at San Felipe, Mass 
was celebrated by a priest with a pronounced Spanish 
eighteenth-century ascetic face of the Merry del Val type. 
As he turned to give the blesvsing, I thought of the many 
elect and beautiful priests of Spain who had in bygone 
days turned with that same gesture and expression to 
give the same blessing to like throngs of uplifted Indian 
faces. The Indians crowd the churches and I am thank- 
fvil that Heaven can be foreshown to them, somewhere, 
somehow. They are but beasts of burden here below, 

x88 



XV 

Departure of the British minister — Guns and marines from Vera Cruz — 
Review at the Condesa — Mister Lind — The Benton case — Huerta 
predicts intervention — Villa at Chihuahua. 

February 12th. 

SIR LIONEL GARDEN is leaving next week. He 
feels (I think not without reason) very bitter about 
his experience down here. He is going to London via 
Washington. I suppose he means to tell the President 
a lot of things, but when he gets there he won't do it. 
Something in the air will make him feel that nothing is 
of any use. . . . 

The protest Nelson made to the Foreign Office over 
the abusive language of the Imparcial was in big head- 
lines in the newspapers yesterday. The Spanish lan- 
guage lends itself exceedingly well to abuse. Miron, the 
man who wrote the articles, now goes about declaring 
that he will shoot Nelson at the first opportunity. I 
don't think anything will come of this, however, though 
it keeps one a little uneasy in this land of surprises. 

February ijth. 
This morning we received a telegram that Nelson's 
father is seriously ill (pneumonia) and all day I have 
been broken with agonies of indecision. Ought I to go 
to New York, possibly in time to close those beautiful 
old eyes? Or ought I to stay here? 

N. intends to have six marines come up from Vera 
Cruz. We could lodge them here. This house was 

189 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

built for two very large apartments and was joined by 
doors and stairways when taken for an Embassy. The 
very large dining-room on the bedroom floor could easily 
hold six cots and the necessary washing apparatus. It 
is now used as a trunk-room, pressing-room, and general 
store-room. Personally I don't feel that anything will 
happen in Mexico City, beyond having a premonition 
that we may be giving asylum to Huerta some of these 
days. The scroll bearing his hour still lies folded upon 
the lap of the gods. 

February 17th. 

I decided this morning not to go to New York, though 
Berthe had my things in readiness for to-morrow night. 
I was afraid that when I wanted to return I might not 
be able to get up to the city from Vera Cruz. 

I went to see von Hintze this morning about the circus 
performance on Friday night for the Red Cross. He 
had already sent out invitations for a big dinner for that 
night, but he will postpone this until Saturday. He 
thinks there will be trouble here, and soon, and that I 
would never have time to go and return. So are destinies 
decided. Suddenly it was clear to me that I was to stay 
with my boy and Nelson and await results. Von Hintze 
considers the situation desperate and has sent out a cir- 
cular telling his nationals to leave the country. In that 
story, ''Two Fools," you will see some of the disadvan- 
tages of leaving, faced by people whose all is here. Von 
Hintze is having Maxim quick-firing guns up from Vera 
Cruz. Three good mitrailleuses and the men to work 
them would be ample protection for any of the legations 
in case of riots. 

Diaz Miron, who is threatening Nelson's life, has al- 
ready killed three men. Another man he shot limps 
about town, and he himself has a bad arm. He is a poet, 
a neurotic, but wrote in his young days some of the most 

190 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

beautiful Spanish verse that exists. Now he is old, 
violent, and eccentric. I hardly think anything will come 
of his threats. Huerta has other Diaz Mirons; he has 
but one American charge d'affaires; and if necessary Diaz 
Miron can be put in the Penitenciaria or Belem. I 
only fear some fool may catch the idea and do what 
Miron wouldn't do. 

A very nice cable came from Mr. Bryan this afternoon, 
saying that the President was deeply concerned at the 
threats against Nelson, and that we should arrange for 
secret-service men to follow him when he goes out of 
the Embassy; and also, if necessary, have a military 
guard at the house. There has been a secret-service 
man walking up and down outside for several days, and 
a dull time he must be having. 

The morning was soft, yet brilliant, when I walked 
down to von Hintze's. It seems strange that blood and 
tragedy should be woven in such a beautiful woof. Von 
Hintze is not an alarmist, but by telling me to go to New 
York, on the theory that everybody that can should 
leave, he certainly decided me to stay. I can't be away 
if anything happens here. So now I am calm again. 
Having been ready to go, not dodging the hard duty, 
makes me able to remain in peace. 

February i8th. 

We have a new Minister for Foreign Affairs, a gentle- 
man, to replace Moheno, the joyful bounder who has 
been in during the past few months. Portillo y Rojas, the 
new minister, is also supposed to be that white black- 
bird, an honest man. He has held various public offices 
without becoming rich, even when he was governor of 
the State of Jalisco. He, like all the rest, however, will 
do as Huerta dictates. 

Maximo Castillo, the bandit responsible for the awful 
Cumbre ttuinel disaster, was captured by American 

191 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

troops yesterday. Twenty-one Americans perished in 
the disaster. I wonder what Washington will do with 
him? To which of the two unrecognized governments 
can he be turned over? He was making a big detour 
around a mountain range, with a few followers, when he 
was caught, trying to avoid Villa. This is another piece 
of good luck for "the tiger." 

Huerta continues to believe in himself. N. says that 
unless von Hintze had information of a precise nature 
that Blanquet (Huerta's intimate friend and his Min- 
ister of War) is going to betray him, the end is by no 
means in sight. But treachery is as much a part of this 
landscape as the volcanoes are. 

Had a wearing sort of day, full of comers and edges; 
also the first real dust-storm of the season, which helps 
to make nerves raw. The government sends down 
three Gatling-guns, which Nelson is to get into the coun- 
try "anyway he thinks best." It will not be a simple 
matter. Everything is in a combustible condition here, 
needing but a match to ignite the whole. 

Evening, 
Just returned from Chapultepec from Seiiora Huerta's 
reception. It was her first in two months, as she had 
been in mourning for her brother. The "court" wore 
black. I found myself next to Huerta for tea, having 
been taken out by the Minister of Communicaciones — 
the Minister of "Highways and Buy ways," he might 
be called. I had a little heart-to-heart talk with the 
President — unfortunately in my broken Spanish. He 
gave me some flowers and all the good things on the 
table, and in return I gave him a red carnation for his 
buttonhole. He called for enchiladas and tamales — 
pink jelly and fussy sandwiches don't appeal to him — 
but the majordomo, with a grin, said, ''No hay.'' 

A few of the gens du monde were there. It seems cruel 

192 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

for them to boycott their own government as they 
continually and consistently do. Huerta has promised 
to put a larger house at our disposition for the Red 
Cross, and I begged him to come, if only for a moment, 
to the benefit circus performance on Friday. He has 
some military engagement for that night. I think we 
will be able later to get up a really productive bull-fight 
for the Red Cross, if he will sanction it. There is always 
money for bull-fights in this country. If the bull- 
fighters didn't come so high, and if the bulls were not 
so dear, a bull-fight would be a wonderful way of put- 
ting any organization on its feet! 

Huerta sat with Nelson the whole time after tea, 
in the bedroom next to the big salon, and Nelson 
broached to him the subject of the guns. He said he 
could bring in any blankety thing he pleased, or the 
Spanish equivalent, but he warned him to do it quietly. 
We were almost the last to leave and Huerta took me 
on his arm down the broad, red-carpeted stairs, telling 
me that Mexicans were the friends of everybody, and 
offering me a pony for Elim. When we got to the glass 
vestibule, in front of which the autos were waiting, he 
made us take his auto. '^Your automobile," he insisted, 
when I said, **0h, but this is yours!" What could 
I do but get in, to the salute of officers, our empty 
car following us. All his courtesies make it a bit 
hard for us. I felt like a vampire in a churchyard or 
some such awful thing, when I was sitting there in the 
big salon, knowing that Huerta is up against the world 
and can't but slip at the end, no matter how he digs 
in his feet. He needs fidelity. It is nowhere to be had, 
and never was to be had in Mexico, if history is to be be- 
Heved. When Santa Ana left Mexico City with twelve 
thousand troops in 1847 to meet and engage Scott at 
Puebla, he finally arrived with a fourth of that num- 

193 



A Dlf'LOMAT^S WIFE IN MEXICO 

ber — the others vanishing along the road a few at 
a time. 

There was a good deal of uniform up there this after- 
noon. I looked at those gold-braided chests with mingled 
feelings — pity at the thought of the uncertainty of life, 
and a sickening feeling of the undependability of the 
sentiments that fill them when the constitution is in 
question. 

We hear that Diaz Miron leaves for Switzerland to- 
night; which, if true, ends that little flurry. The long 
arm of the Dictator moves the puppets as he wills, and 
I imagine he intends to take no risks concerning the bright- 
est jewel in his crown — i. e., N., the last link with the 
United States. I keep thinking what a ''grand thing" 
a dictatorship is if it is on your side. Most of the 
dozen Huerta children were at the reception — ^from the 
youngest, a bright little girl of seven, to the fatuous 
eldest officer son of thirty or thereabouts. A big dia- 
mond in a gold ring, next to a still bigger one in plati- 
num, were the most conspicuous things about him. 

A new comic journal called Mister Lind made its first 
appearance to-day. It is insulting and unclean, with a 
caricature of Lind on the second page. I can't decide 
whether the name is bright or stupid. 

The Mexicans are master-hands at caricature and 
play upon words, and there are generally some really 
trenchant political witticisms in their comic papers. 
There are wishes for Wilson's early demise scattered 
through the pages in various forms. But I imagine they 
are boomerang wishes, and the journal itself will have a 
short and unprofitable life. The big middle page has 
a picture, calling itself El Re par to de Tier r as (''The Divi- 
sion of Lands"). It represents a graveyard; underneath 
are the words, ''tenemos 200,000 tierras tenientes'' ("we 
have 200,000 landholders") — a sad play upon the divi- 

194 



A DIPLOMAT'S WiF£ IN MfeXiCO 

sion of lands. Above it vultures are portrayed, wearing 
Uncle Sam's hat. Another caricature shows the Mexi- 
cans carrying a coffin labeled Asuntos Nacionales (Na- 
tional Affairs) , with President Wilson as a candle-bearer. 
The press gets more anti-American every day. 

On one of N.'s visits to the President, at his famous 



A BURIAL 




^^ll^^^^l 











'X'M.\, 



MEXICO: "who gave you a candle to carry 

IN THIS funeral?" 



little shack-like retreat set in among a collection of 
market-gardens, at Popotla, he began to talk about the 
division of lands, saying the Indian had inalienable 
rights to the soil, but that the lands should be returned 
to him under circumstances of justice and order. On 

195 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

no account should they be used as a reward for momen- 
tarily successful revolutionaries. He added that the 
United States had never respected the rights of their 
Indians, but had settled the whole question by force. 

February igth» 
We went this morning to the big military revue at the 
Condesa, one of the most beautiful race-tracks in the 
world. I thought of Potsdam's strong men under dull 
skies. Now I am in this radiant paradise, watching more 
highly colored troops, who make a really fine show, and 
who perhaps are soon to fight with ''the Colossus of the 
North." Certainly in another year many of them will 
have been laid low by brothers' hands. The President 
was very pleased with the 29th, the crack regiment that 
helped him to power a year ago. He addressed a few 
words to them, and his hands trembled as he decorated 
their flag, pinning the cross at the top of the flag-staff, 
and attaching a long red streamer instead of the rosette 
that generally goes with this decoration. They made a 
fine showing, and the rurales, under command of Rincon 
Gaillardo, on a beautiful horse, and in all the splendor of 
a yellow and silver-trimmed charro costume, were a 
picturesque and unforgetable sight. The rurales wear 
great peaked hats, yellow-gray costumes made with the 
tight vaquero trousers, short embroidered coats, and long, 
floating red-silk neckties — such a spot at which to aim! 
I suppose there were six or seven thousand troops in all. 
Everything was very spick and span — men, horses, and 
equipment. It was a testimony to Huerta's mihtary 
qualities that in the face of his manifold enemies he 
could put up such an exhibition. I sat by Corona, gov- 
ernor of the Federal District, and watched the glittering 
d^fiU and listened to the stirring martial music. The 
Mexicans have probably the best brass in the world — 

196 

\ 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

le beau cote de la guerre. But what horrors all that glitter 
covers! Twice, when Huerta's emotion was too much 
for him, he disappeared for a capita, which was to be 
had in a convenient back inclosure. 

Evening. 

I started out with Kanya and Madame Simon to motor 
to Xochimilco, and before getting out of tow^n we ran 
down a poor pelade. It was a horrible sensation as the 
big motor struck him. I jumped out and ran to him and 
found him lying on his poor face, a great stream of blood 
gushing from a wound in his head. 

They wouldn't let me touch him till a sergeant came. 
Then we turned him on his back, and I bound up his 
head as well as I could, with a handkerchief some one 
gave me, and with one of my long, purple veils. I took 
the motor — Kanya and Madame Simon are not used to 
blood — and went quickly to the comisaria and got a 
doctor. The chauffeur, whose fault it really was, was 
trembling like an aspen. When w^e got back, it seemed 
to me the whole peon world had turned out. Finally 
we got the victim laid on the Camilla; and now, I sup- 
pose, his poor soul is with its Maker. As the motor is 
Kanya's, there will be no calling him up in court, and 
he will be very generous to the family. I am thankful, 
for various reasons, that it wasn't the Embassy motor. 
I am awfully upset about it ; to think of starting out on 
this beautiful afternoon and being the instrument to 
send that poor soul into eternity. 

Later I went to see Madame Lef aivre. She is in bed with 
a *'synovite," and is trying to superintend her packing at 
the same time. I met von Hintze as I came out of the 
Legation. He informed me, with a wicked smile, that 
the review was to celebrate, or rather, commemorate, the 
mutiny of the celebrated Twenty-ninth against Madero 
last February. Well, I hope we won't get into trouble 
14 197 



A DIPLOM^AT^S WIFE IN MEXICO 

with the powers that be. He addressed me, saying, '*I 
hear you presided over the miHtary commemoration of 
to-day." 

I said, "Good heavens! What commemoration?" I 
knew nothing of it, and was only interested to see what 
sort of a showing the troops would make ! 

I write no more. I feel very triste, with the sight of 
that poor, bleeding head before my eyes and the memory 
of the impact of that body against the motor. 

February 20th, 
The poor man is still alive, but is going to die. The 
curious thing about the fatality (which is the only word 
for it) is that the man had just come from Quer6taro, 
where he had sold a house for 4,200 pesos, which he had 
on him, and which were subsequently stolen from him 
at the policia. I noticed that when he was put on the 
stretcher his hand for a moment convulsively pressed 
his belt. I suppose moving him brought a momentary 
consciousness, and he thought weakly of his all. Doubt- 
less he was the only pelado in town that had that or any 
amount on him. The chauffeur is in jail, and, after all, 
Kanya will have a lot of trouble before the matter has 
been arranged. 

The comic journals of this week have just appeared. 
All take a shot at Mr. Wilson for his recognition of Peru. 
Multicolor has him, with a smile, handing the Reconoci- 
miento to Peru — a handsome young woman, representing 
la Revolucidn — while with the other hand he tears the 
map of Mexico from the wall. 

The other day Nelson had a most interesting talk with 
Huerta. He said he realized that the existence of any 
government in Mexico without the good-will of the 
United States was difficult, if not impossible; and that 
he was deeply distressed that they did not take into 

198 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

account the manifold difficulties under which he was 
laboring. It was at this interview that N. arranged the 
question of getting in arms. Huerta pointed out that all 
the requests N. had made him on behalf of the United 
States had been granted, and that the entire Federal 
army had been ordered to give special consideration to 
Americans. He said that he did not desire to criticize 
the government of the United States, but did wish to 
point out that if it defeats him in pacifying the country 
it will be forced into the difficult and thankless task of 
armed intervention. He continued that, on looking at 
the Mexican situation, one must not lose sight of the 
fact that Mexico is an Indian country (mentioning 
the difficulties we had had with our Indians); that 
the Indian population here had been oppressed by the 
Spaniards and the landowning classes for centuries; that 
during the regime of Porfirio Diaz they had conceived 
the desire for material betterment, but were given no 
chance (the chances being for the few) ; that under the 
regime of Madero the revolutionary habit became gen- 
eral, as the sequel of unfulfillable promises. Also that the 
present task in Mexico was not to establish a democracy, 
but to establish order. He did not criticize the rebels of 
the north, but said they would never, in the event of 
victory, be able to establish a government in Mexico, 
and that one of their first acts would be to turn against 
the United States. From Maximilian to Huerta they 
have all known our friendship is essential. 

The Benton case is going to make an untold amount of 
trouble, and the Mexican problem again comes into sight 
from the international point. A life is worth a life, per- 
haps, before God ; but down here the murder of a wealthy 
British subject is of more account than that of some poor 
American or a thousand Mexicans. The best and most- 
to-be-believed version of Villa's shooting of him is that, 

199 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

on Benton's expostulating with him about the confisca- 
tion of his property in Chihuahua, he was shot, then and 
there. That is the reason they have been unwilHng to let 
his wife have the body, which shows bullet-wounds in the 
wrong places. Villa claims he was shot after a court- 
martial had declared him guilty of an attempt on his, Villa's 
life. You can imagine a wealthy Britisher attempting 
Villa's life ! All any foreigner up there wants is to be let 
alone. Whatever the true history may be, there is in- 
tense indignation on the frontier. Sir Cecil Spring-Rice 
has made formal protestations to the State Department. 
The English press is aroused, and it was told us by one 
correspondent that Sir Edward Grey will be called on to 
answer questions in ParHament. The fat is, at last, in 
the fire. 

Dr. Ryan returned yesterday, more or less discour- 
aged with his Washington trip. Everything for the 
rebels. Mr. Lind is so fascinated by them that I under- 
stand he is counseling direct financial aid — a loan. He 
hasn't perceived the shape and color of events here, but 
has become obsessed by the idea of getting rid of Huerta. 
That and his hallucination about Villa cover the whole 
situation for him. What is to be done afterward if 
Huerta is squeezed out? That is what we all want to 
know — the afterward. One long vista of bloodshed and 
heartbreak and devastation presents itself. 

February 22d. 

Elim has gone to his first and, I hope, his last bull- 
fight, with Dr. Ryan. He has clamored so to go that I 
finally yielded. I feel rather uncertain about it. There 
was a very chic dinner at von Hintze's last night, for Sir 
Lionel, who leaves on Wednesday. I feel awfully sorry 
for him, but this Benton matter may be a justification, 
to a certain extent. He says he is only to be gone six 

200 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

weeks — but qui^n sabef Hohler has arrived — a good 
friend of ours. His are safe hands in which to leave 
matters. 

Nelson is busy getting one of the American corre- 
spondents out of that terrible Belem. He has been put 
in there with all those vermin-covered people, with their 
typhoid and other germs, and must have had some bad 
hours. 

February 24th. 

Just a line this morning. Am getting ready for my 
American bridge party, with prizes, this afternoon. I 
have some lovely large Ravell photographs in good old 
frames. 

Last night Patchin, the very agreeable yoimg Tribune 
correspondent, came for dinner; we had the usual 
political conversation afterward. Clarence Hay read a 
poem of his (which I will later inclose) on the murder of 
young Gen. Gabriel Hernandez, last July, by Enrique 
Zepeda, then governor of the Federal district. Zepeda is 
called a "nephew" of Huerta, but is supposed to be his 
son. Zepeda gave a supper to which N. was invited ; at 
the last moment, press of work made him unable to 
assist. The gods were with him that time, for, after the 
supper, at midnight, Zepeda, very much allum^, went to 
the Penitenciaria where General Hernandez was impris- 
oned, took him out into the patio, and shot him dead. 
His men then burned the body, over which they were 
thoughtful enough to first pour kerosene. Zepeda was 
put in jail for eight months, and is just out. When he 
isn't intoxicated he is almost "American" in his ideas, 
it appears. 

Wednesday, February 25th. 

Last night we went to the station to see Sir Lionel off. 
I thought the cheers that went up as the train moved 
out of the station were for him, but it seems they 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

were for some departing bull-fighters, who are always 
first in the hearts of their countrymen. It appears that 
Sir Lionel is carrying with him documents, plans, maps, 
etc., with a collection of fully authenticated horrors com- 
mitted by the rebels in their campaign. He may not 
get an opportunity of laying them before President Wil- 
son, but he will enjoy showing them to Sir Cecil Spring- 
Rice. 

Yesterday, from the governor's palace in Chihua- 
hua, Villa gave forth a statement about the killing of 
Benton. He was seated on a throne-like chair on a 
raised dais, in almost regal style, his followers surround- 
ing him and doing him homage. The gubernatorial pal- 
ace is fitted up with the greatest luxury, the houses of the 
wealthiest residents of the town having been sacked for 
the purpose. Consider the picture of that untutored, 
bloody-handed brigand, surrounded by his spoils and 
his "courtiers.'* He has never heard how ''uneasy lies 
the head that wears a crown," but he will doubtless have 
some practical experience of it. He has contradicted 
himself repeatedly in his statements about the killing of 
Benton. The body, bearing its mute testimony of being 
riddled with bullets by a firing-squad, lies under a heap 
of refuse. 



XVI 

Huerta's impressive review for the special correspondents — The Grito 
de Dolores — Tons of "stationery" for the Embassy — Villa and 
Carranza disagree — ^The Embassy guard finds itself occupied. 

February 26th. Noon. 

WE are just home, after seeing the review (from 
Chapultepec through town to the Zocalo) of all the 
troops now in the city. They were turned out for the 
benefit of the special correspondents, invited to the gay 
scene by Huerta, and the government is paying all * 
the expenses. The regular correspondents in town 
feel rather peeved about the matter. We sat in the 
motor in the Zocalo y under the cloudless sky and soft, 
penetrating sun, and watched the defile. The banner of 
the Twenty-ninth bore the long, red streamer that 
Huerta had tied on the other day, with trembling fingers. 
The troops were all well armed. They had new rifles 
and new, well-filled cartridge-belts, and the effect was 
most encouraging — for Huerta. The special correspond- 
ents, from the windows of the Palace, had their cameras 
and cine machines in action. Really, Huerta has done 
wonders to keep the troops together so well and so long, 
in the face of such overwhelming odds. The bugle-calls 
and the martial music echoed over the Plaza — the setting 
for so many centuries of the hopes and fears, the begin- 
nings and the endings, of these Mexican people. 

I thought of the 191 1 anniversary of the Grito de 
Dolores — that night of the i6th of September when I 
stood on the middle balcony of the Palacio, with de la 

203 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Barra and Madero, when the former was still President 
ad interim, and the latter was hoping all things. There 
we looked down on fifty or sixty thousand upturned 
faces, while the celebrated Campana de la Independencia 
(Independence bell) rang above our heads, followed by 
the great bells from the illuminated towers of the 
cathedral. The present is nearer the past in Mexico 
than anywhere else. ^ As we came home we were 
snapshotted a dozen times by the disconsolate cor- 
respondents who had not been invited to the Palace 
to '* assist" at the parade. Coming up 'Tlateros," 
Nelson saw Huerta's automobile outside of **E1 Globo" 
restaurant, and left me, to go in to speak to him. 

This morning the big banana-tree in the front garden 
was released from its winter wrappings, if one can call 
these cloudless days winter. The most wonderful ban- 
ners of purest, palest yellow are gently waving against 
the perfect sky. I am now waiting for Hohler to come 
to lunch. Sir Lionel went off (during a tremendous 
norte)y in the battle-ship Essex, which is taking him to 
Galveston. His cotmtry is treating him almost to the 
honors we give fleeing Maderistas. 

Villa has not yet given up the body of Benton. If 
there is much more delay it will not be able to bear 
testimony to the truth. Unfortunately, a Federal offi- 
cer, it is rumored, has hanged an American citizen, Ver- 
gara, at Piedras Negras. His pardon, sent from head- 
quarters, came too late. Huerta will probably make an 
example of the hasty officer, if the deed has really been 
committed. We heard this morning that Carranza is 

^ This is the famous bell the priest Hidalgo rang from his church in the 
village of Dolores, in the State of Guanajauto, in the early morning of 
September i6th, 1810, sounding the appeal known as the "Grito de Do- 
lores" (cry from Dolores) — the first cry of Mexican independence, to be 
gontinued through niore than a century of blood an4 disaster, 

^04 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

going to make short work of O'Shaughnessy when he 
gets here. When! 

I had a very interesting conversation with Hohler, 
who is thoroughly sincere and trustworthy, and able to 
look at things as they are. We sat long over our coffee, 
talking of the international web, of which Mexico is now 
so uncertain and frail a mesh. He intends to do what 
he can for his nationals. He is without fear, in a prac- 
tical, unnervous way. 

The reverse of the medal is that he is a tireless col- 
lector and connoisseur of beautiful things, and what he 
doesn't get, the Belgian minister does. Between them, 
there is very little left for anybody else. 

February 27th. 

Villa is still refusing to deliver up the body of Benton, 
even at the risk of offending the United States. Huerta 
expects Villa to hang himself with his own rope. He says 
he is a tontOy violent, undisciplined, and can't do what he 
ought. The rumors that he is refusing to receive orders 
from Carranza are taking more explicit shape. He says 
that Carranza has never once put himself in danger; 
that he (Villa) has done all ; that he receives commands 
from no one. He has repeatedly and vainly been asked 
to go to confer with Carranza, and we now hear that 
the mountain of all constitutional virtues is going to 
Mohammed. The deadly wine of success is mounting 
to Villa's head. He now has wealth to the extent of 
some millions of pesos. The Torreon and Chihuahua 
confiscations were enormous, not counting what he and 
his followers have taken in all the small towns looted. 
He has not the sense to perceive in what diffictilties his 
killing of Benton has placed the people who are anxious 
to be his friends. He evidently thinks that a man who 
cannot write or read must ''make his mark" in other 
ways. 

aoj 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Our Gatling-guns, with ammunition, are arriving to- 
day in Vera Cruz, by the Ward Line steamer. They are 
to be got up here under the head of Embassy suppHes — 
stationery, and the like. Huerta knows they are, but 
wants the thing done in a manner that he can wink at. 
The ** stationery" will weigh tons. 

February 28th. 

Elim had his curls shockingly cut this morning, but 
his bang has been left. He is as proud as a puppy with 
two tails. The *' crime" was committed by a soft- 
speaking Haitian barber, who won't get another chance 
at my only child. Elim knows nothing of death and disso- 
lution; has been calling ''Mima,'' all over the house, and 
has just dashed into the drawing-room, where I am writ- 
ing, to ask for a trumpet. He is so clever about music 
that I am almost tempted to sacrifice every one in the 
house and get him one. He will soon be playing the 
national air. 

Yesterday I had tea with Madame B. She was look- 
ing very handsome, lying among her costly blue-rib- 
boned laces. The baby, born ten days ago, looks like 
a miniature ** conqueror," with its severe Spanish 
features and glossy black hair. Madame B.'s father, 
who is one of the wealthiest hacendados, spoke with 
Huerta^ for the first time several weeks ago at the 
Jockey Club. The President asked him, ''How are 
matters in Morelos?" (The Zapatista country where 
they have immense sugar haciendas.) Don. L. answered, 
"You are killing us with your demands for contribu- 
tions." Huerta grew rather excited. ''You do nothing 
for the country," he declared, "neither you nor your 
sons." Don L. answered, "I have lost one and a half 
millions in the past year." "Lucky man to have it to 
lose," commented Huerta, grimly. "Great sugar crops 
are now ready for harvesting, but I can get no men," 

206 



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THE PYRAMID OF SAN JUAN TEOTIHUACAN 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Don L. went on; "they are all in the army. Give me 
men and I will give you contributions." 

Huerta immediately sent the men needed, the sugar is 
being harvested, and Don L. feels convinced that Huerta 
is doing what he can ; but his daughter, who told me all 
this, added, with a smile and flash of white teeth, ' * Par- 
don me; but what can we do with your Mr. Wilson on 
our backs?" 

Evening. 

We have had such a day of agitation. Telegrams from 
New York tell us that Nelson's father has received the 
last sacraments. We have telegraphed to Vera Cruz to 
know if one of the smaller fast ships is in the harbor. 
I might go in it to New Orleans and thence by rail to 
New York — ^in all seventy-eight or eighty hours from 
Vera Cruz. Berthe has been packing my things. I 
know lives must end, but my heart is very sad. 

I kept my engagement to take the Russian and Aus- 
trian ministers out to Tozzer's Aztec diggings. Their 
governments have subscribed money for archaeological 
work in Mexico (I have never quite understood why), 
and Tozzer was most anxious to have them see what he 
had done. We had tea, and regalitos of heads of idols, 
dug up on the spot — spontaneously offered, this time. 
There was a dust-storm blowing — the volcanoes were 
invisible — and things were generally gritty. All the time 
my thoughts were turning toward the life-and-death 
issue, and I was so anxious to get home. 

The Lefaivres leave definitely on the 12th. The Lega- 
tion is dismantled, and Madame Lefaivre is still lying 
with her knee in plaster. Their secretary and his wife 
naturally see them leave with mixed feelings. We all 
know how that is, for what greater benefit can a chief be- 
stow than absence? Madame Lefaivre said to the 
secretary: ''What if the ship doesn't sail on the 12th?" 

207 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

He made the most polite of disclaimers, but she answered, 
smilingly, "Oh, I know the hearts of secretaries!" 

March ist. 

I have just come from Mass, wondering how it is with 
the soul and body of Nelson's father. * * * 

This morning Washington must be thinking **how 
sharper than a serpent's tooth " ! Carranza and Villa are 
defying the supreme powers. They even deny our rights 
to ask information regarding Benton, who, they say, is a 
British subject — adding that they will listen to only such 
representations as are made to them by Great Britain her- 
self ''through the proper diplomatic channels. " No one 
knew any such channels existed. They add, further, 
that this ruling applies to other nations desiring redress 
for their people. The Frankenstein monster is certainly 
growing. Carranza also says that he has already in- 
vestigated the Benton affair, but only for use in case 
Great Britain desires to take up the matter with him 
as head of the revolution. The matter of Gustav Bauch, 
American citizen, he will be kind enough to discuss with 
Mr. Bryan, stating that he ''greatly laments his death." 
This turn is most imexpected, though Villa and Car- 
ranza were very uppish several months ago when 
WilHam Bayard Hale was sent to treat with them. 
Now that the embargo is lifted, their ari'Ogance knows 
no botmds. 

Vergara, the supposed American citizen, supposed to 
have been put to death at Piedras Negras by a Federal 
officer, and whose death so greatly outraged Washington, 
has simply escaped and rejoined the rebel forces. It ap- 
pears, on investigation, that he was the chief of a gang of 
eighteen bandits, and his occupation was the getting in 
of arms and ammunition across the border for the rebels, 
or the driving of large herds of stolen cattle over to the 

3P8 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

American side. The Federals would have had a perfect 
right to shoot him. 

Yours of January 31st, understanding all so deeply, 
says nothing of my typewritten letter about the Vera 
Cruz trip. It must be a relief to you to get a legible 
letter. McKenna, N. 's new young secretary, discreet and 
competent, copied it for me. 

Yovir report of having seen a statement in the news- 
papers about "rushing the troops up to Mexico" re- 
minds me of a correspondent of one of the big New 
York newspapers. He appeared here the other day, 
saying he had been sent hurriedly to Vera Cruz on in- 
side information from Washington to be ready to go up 
to Mexico City with the troops. 

Last night Huerta, in view of the safety of his crown 
jewel — i. e., Nelson — said he was going to send a guard to 
the Embassy. There was an equivocacion (there always 
is some mistake in Mexico) and an armed guard of eight 
was sent to the American Club, a place Nelson rarely 
goes to. About half past nine we had excited telephone 
calls that the Club was guarded by these soldiers, as 
riots were evidently feared by the authorities. The 
newspaper men sent telegrams about it to New York, 
but it was simply a case of going to the wrong place. 
This morning foiu* soldiers with rifles appeared as per- 
manent "guests," but we don't need them. We have 
nice old Francisco and the new young gendarme, Manuel, 
who was added some months ago. Each legation here 
has one guard. I am glad to have Francisco and Man- 
uel, on Elim's account. They always seem to know just 
what he is doing in the garden. 

We were so thankful to see, in one of the newspapers, 
the head-line, ' ' Huerta snubs O'Shaughnessy. ' ' Of course 
it isn't true, but it will make an excellent impression at 
home; and it may even give N.'s first-hand, accurate in- 

209 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

formation about matters some weight. The same news- 
paper also shows a picture of Huerta at some charity per- 
formance with his wife and daughters and Naranjo, 
Minister of Public Instruction. He looks (and doubtless 
felt) the personification of boredom. The head-lines 
are, *' Huerta enjoying social life while riots rage in 
capital." 

March 2d, 
Your letter of the 5th, sent after the raising of the em- 
bargo, is received. I can well understand your worrying 
about our remaining in Mexico. We worried for a few 
minutes, but by now you will have received my letter 
telling all about it. It will take something gigantic, 
something outside of Huerta, to cause him to give Nelson 
his passports, no matter how often fiery, enraged Cab- 
inet Ministers may urge it. 

Last night, on returning home, we found that Huerta 
had sent us six more soldiers with a sergeant. It made me 
feel as if the house were the setting for an act from some 
op^ra bouffe. We gave the soldiers packages of cigarettes 
and a drink apiece, and I suppose they rested on the 
sofas or floors of the parterre. N. never leaves the 
house without his secret-service man, a decent fellow, 
but dressed to the r61e in a loud, tight, bright-blue 
suit with white stripes, and pistols — the last articles 
outlined against his person every time he makes a 
motion. We have a beautiful new motor — ^low, smooth- 
running, painted black, with a smart dark-gray band 
about it. He occupies the seat beside Jesus, gets out 
when N. gets out, and waits around ostentatiously while 
N. attends to whatever he has on hand. He is an awful 
bore, and quite unnecessary, but Huerta answered, when 
N. protested, ''Es mejor'' ("It is better so"). 



XVII 

The torture of Terrazas — Mexico's banking eccentricities — Departure 
of the Lefaivres — Zapatista methods — Gustavo Madero's death — 
First experience of Latin-American revolutions — Huerta's witty- 
speech. 

March 4th. Afternoon. 

1AST night we received the news that Nelson's father 
■^ was indeed approaching his mortal end. This morn- 
ing, at seven o'clock, after a sleepless night of "vanish- 
ings and finalities," I went down-stairs in answer to a 
telephone call from Mr. Jennings, of the Hearst news- 
papers — ^who is always very nice about everything — to 
say that he had passed away peacefully at half past six. 
You know the days of death — ^how strained, how busy, 
how exhausting. The first thing I did was to go to 
Father Reis, at San Lorenzo, the San Sylvester of Mex- 
ico, and arrange for a requiem Mass on Saturday next, 
the 7th, to which we will invite the Cabinet, the Corps 
Diplomatique, and friends. Now I am at home again, in 
the mourning garments I wore for my precious brother. 

March 4th. Evening. 

The house seems very quiet to-night. No more looking 
for telegrams. He is lying on his death-bed, looking very 
handsome, I know. The fatigue of the busy, aching day 
is on me. Many people have been here to-day to tender 
their sympathies. Hohler, the last, came in for tea after 
seeing Nelson, and has just gone. 

Now the pouch is closed and everybody and every- 

211 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

thing has departed. Elim is lying on the floor in front 
of my little electric stove. The chords so strongly moved 
by the passing of my beloved brother are vibrating again, 
not alone because of death and parting, but because of 
life and the imperfections of its relationships. Nelson 
has accepted his father's death, has pulled himself to- 
gether, and is going on with his work, of which there is 
more than sufficient. 

How true it is that men follow their destinies rather 
than their interests ; a something innate and unalterable 
drives each one along. Genio yfigura hasta la sepultura — 
a Spanish saying to the effect that mind, temperament, 
inclination, are unchanged by the circumstances of life, 
even to the grave. 

March 5th. 

As I was reading last night, waiting for dinner to be 
served, a visitant, rather than a visitor, appeared in my 
drawing-room incognito — a simple "Mr. Johnson," eager, 
intrepid, dynamic, efficient, unshaven! * * * 

Young Terrazas, the son of the former great man of 
Chihuahua, of whom I wrote you when first he was cap- 
tured by Villa at the taking of Chihuahua, several 
months ago, has not yet been released, and Villa threatens 
to execute him to-morrow if the half -million of ransom 
money is not forthcoming. The father has raised, 
half the simi, with the greatest difficulty, but, fearing 
some trick (and he has every reason for distrust), he 
won't give the money till he receives his son. It appears 
the son has been horribly treated, several times himg up 
until he was nearly dead, then taken down and beaten. 
Yoimg Hyde, of the Mexican Herald, said yesterday, 
apropos of like matters, that he had seen a man brought 
last night to Mexico City who had been tortured by the 
rebels; the soles of his feet were sliced off, his ears and 
tongue were gone, and there were other and nameless 

212 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

mutilations, but the victim was still living. The only 
difference between the rebels and the Federals is that 
the former have carte blanche to torture, loot, and kill, 
and the Federals must behave, to a certain extent, 
whether they want to or not. It is their existence that 
is at stake. Huerta, though he may not be troubled 
with scruples or morals other than those that expediency 
dictates, has his prestige before the world to uphold, and 
is sagacious enough to realize its value. The rebels go 
to pieces as soon as there is any question of government 
or order. Villa is without doubt a wonderful bandit, if 
bandits are what the United States are after. I see by 
the newspapers that Mr. Bryan is begging the Foreign 
Relations Committee to keep the Mexican situation off 
the floor of Congress. * * * 

One by one, the Mexicans to whom we have given 
asylum and safe-conducts to Vera Cruz, upon receiving 
their word of honor not to intrigue against the govern- 
ment, break that word and go over to the rebels. We 
have just seen the name of Dr. Silva (formerly governor 
of Michoacan, whom we had convoyed to Vera Cruz) as 
one of the somewhat tardy commission appointed by 
Carranza to investigate the murder of Benton. 

We are aghast at the resignation of Mr. John Bassett 
Moore as counselor to the State Department. He is 
learned, perfectly understanding, and very experienced 
in a practical way about Latin-American affairs. 

Yesterday the Minister for Foreign Affairs came to 
present his condolences to Nelson, and also to protest 
against the bringing up to the Embassy of our Gatling- 
guns and ammimition, which are still in the customs at 
Vera Cruz. There are seventy cases — ^and not feather- 
weights. He fell over the threshold, as he entered, and 
was picked up by Nelson and the butler. (It was his 
first visit. I don't know if he is superstitious.) Huerta, 
15 213 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

as you may remember, in the famous bedchamber con- 
versation at Chapultepec, had told Nelson he could get 
in all the guns he wanted, but to do it quietly. It is 
now all over the country and is making a row among 
Mexicans. In these days of grief and agitation, N. has 
happened to have an unusual amount of official work. 
I have been busy all day with the list for to-morrow's 
requiem Mass, and it is almost finished. My little Shorn 
Locks has gone up-stairs, and I am resting myself by 
writing these lines to you. 

March 7th. 

We are waiting to start for the church. You will 
know all the thoughts and memories that fill my heart 
— that descent from fog-enveloped hills into the cold, 
gray town to lay away my precious brother. Now I am 
about to start through this shimmering, wondrous morn- 
ing to the black-hung church. In the end it is all the 
same. 

March gth. 

I have not written since Saturday morning, before 
starting to the requiem Mass. I have been so busy see- 
ing people and attending to hundreds of cards, tele- 
grams, and notes. Huerta did not appear at the church, 
as people thought he might do. Instead, Portillo y Ro- 
jas, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, sat by us. All was 
beautiful and sad. Afterward we went into the sacristy 
to receive the condolences of our friends, as is the custom 
here. Though he had never trod the threshold of our 
Mexican dwelling, it still seemed inexpressibly empty 
as we returned to it. I was glad of the heaped-up desk 
and the living decisions awaiting N. 

Huerta was very nice on seeing him to-day, called him 
"hijo'' ("son"), gave him an affectionate abrazo, and all 
his sympathy. Subsequently, Nelson had a long talk with 
him in a little private room of the Cafe Colon, that 

214 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Huerta approached from the back entrance. Huerta is 
broad in his ideas and very careful as to any remarks 
about the United States, in Nelson's presence. He al- 
ways speaks of President Wilson as Su Excelencia, el Se- 
nor Presidente Wilson; there are no diatribes of any 
kind. The thing that has really got on his nerves is our 
keeping his 4,000 soldiers at Fort Bliss and expecting 
him to pay for them. He says Mexico is not at war with 
the United States; that the rebels are allowed to go and 
come as they please, and even to organize on the frontier. 
Why this discrimination? He says that otir govern- 
ment thinks he is a bandit, like Villa, but that if Wash- 
ington would be just it would see that he keeps his mouth 
shut, does his work as well as he can in the face of the 
terrible injustice done him, and asks nothing of any one 
except to be let alone; that he could have had the power 
in Mexico long before he took it. He repeated that many 
a person of influence had urged him to put an end to 
the disastrous Madero administration; that he is not in 
politics for personal ends; that his wants are few, his 
habits those of an old soldier. He always insists that 
he did not kill Madero. * * * 

As for that, one can talk for hours and hours with all 
sorts of people without finding any direct evidence of 
any direct participation by Huerta in the death of 
Madero. I have come to think it an inexcusable and 
fatal negligence on his part, incidental to the excitement 
and preoccupation of those tragic days. He was astute 
enough to have realized that Madero dead would be even 
more embarrassing to him than living, and should have 
insisted on asylum for him where alone it was to be had. 
There is, however, at times a strange suspension of 
mental processes in Mexico; with everything possible 
and yet nothing appearing probable, nobody ever fore- 
sees any situation. 

215 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

I had a long call yesterday from Rincon Gaillardo, 
Marqu6s de Guadalupe, the smart, youngish general. 
Besides his military work, he is doing something that all 
the members of the upper class should co-operate in — 
i. e., helping to amalgamate the classes. His father, 
Duca de Regla and ' ' Grand d'Espagne, ' ' was the first man 
in society here to receive Diaz when he came to power. 
In fact, in his house Diaz met Dona Carmen. He told me 
that Diaz wasn't then, by any means, the kind of man 
he is now, after thirty years of power and knowledge. 

Last night, at midnight. Nelson, who had gone 
to sleep early, was called down-stairs by urgent tel- 
ephone messages, to hear that the Texas Rangers had 
dashed over the border to Sabinas Hidalgo to recover the 
body of the pseudo-American cattle-rustler, Vergara. 
Whether the report is true is not known, but of course 
it is an act that would be resented by all classes here, and 
every class really hates us. 

Villa, not being able to get the full amount of the 
ransom out of Terrazas pkre, has decided not to execute 
the son, but to take him with him when he besieges 
Torreon, and to place him wherever the bullets are thick- 
est. The mad dance of death goes on, and I feel as if 
we were the fiddlers. Mr. Lind has so idealized the 
rebels in the north that he has come to think them 
capable of all the civic virtues, and he is obsessed by the 
old tradition of north beating south whenever there is 
an issue. His deduction is not borne out by facts, as in 
Mexico it is the south that has produced the greatest 
number of great men — **the governmental minds"; the 
south has come nearer to loving peace; the south has 
shown the greatest degree of prosperity and advance- 
ment. Vera Cruz is the poorest possible vantage- 
ground for a study of conditions; it is a clearing-house 
for malcontents of all kinds, mostly rebels, fleeing from 

216 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

the consequences of some act against some authority. 
My heart is heavy at the grim fataUty that has per- 
mitted our policy to be shaped from there. 

A dust-storm this afternoon, with all the color gone 
out of the air, and a few thick drops of cold rain. I 
left cards for an hour or two, then came home. I am 
glad to be here in my comfortable home, though I can't 
help a shiver as I think of the horrors sanctioned, even 
encouraged, by us on every side. B. said once that 
the policy of the United States in lifting the embargo 
was to really give Mexicans a taste of civil war! There 
were some chirpings from Carranza the other day, to the 
effect that *'I understand Villa, and Villa understands 
me." Doubtless this is true; but they say that after 
their rare meetings the old gentleman has to go to bed 
for several days. 

I have just been reading an article by Mr. Creelman 
on Lind. He has caught the spirit of Vera Cruz and 
described exactly Mr. Lind and his amhiente there. He 
speaks of him as "Mr. Wilson's cloistered agent." "In 
a small, dark room with a red- tiled floor, opening on a 
shabby Mexican courtyard," he adds, "in the rear of the 
American Consulate in Vera Cruz, sits John Lind, the 
personal representative of the President of the United 
. States, as he has sat for seven months, smilingly watch- 
ing and waiting, while Mexico and her 15,000,000 men, 
women, and children have moved to ruin." It makes me 
"creepy," it is so true! 

March loth, 5 p.m. 

I am back from saying good-by to dear Madame Le- 
faivre; she starts off to-night with swollen foot and leg, 
and I am very much fearing the long voyage for her. 
With her usual good nature she had had her paint-box 
unpacked and was sitting on a trunk, putting some re- 
storing touches to a Madonna of most uncertain value, 

217 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

just discovered by the German consul-general. The 
Lefaivres have a pied-a-terre in Paris, with beautiful 
things inherited from Madame Lefaivre's father. Le- 
faivre has decided to go, if the heavens fall, and, as we 
laughingly told him, if his wife falls, too, for that matter. 
I besought him to delay, for political reasons, but the 
long sojourn is on his nerves, and he has a bad throat. 
I am sorry to see them go, on my own account — such 
good friends. I am writing this, expecting Hohler and a 
woman special correspondent for tea. Burnside tells me 
she has been in many storm-centers and is bright and 
discreet. 

March nth. 
N. is pretty hot about the arms which are in the cus- 
toms here in Mexico City. The officials keep him run- 
ning from one to the other; they don*t really want us to 
have them, though the French, German, English, and 
Japanese legations have long since been well stocked. 
I came down-stairs to himt for literature, about four 
o'clock this morning, and heard the "Pretorian guard" 
in the parterre, laughing and joking, as guards in all 
ages have done. There are unlimited cigarettes and lim- 
ited pulque to make their watch easy. 

Later. 

We hear that Mr. Lind is having parle5rings with the 
Zapatistas! If he is going to dream this dream and 
pass it on to his friends in Washington, they will all 
have the most awful nightmare ever visited on 
dreamers. Zapata has been the terror of every Presi- 
dent — Diaz, de la Barra, Madero, and Huerta — ^for 
nearly five years. His crimes and depredations are com- 
mitted under the banner of ''Land for the People," and 
there has been a certain consistency about his proceed- 
ings, always '*agin the government"; but that he has, 
after these years of bloodshed, rapine, and loot, rendered 

218 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

conditions more tolerable for any except the rapers and 
looters, is most debatable. I once saw some living re- 
mains brought to the Red Cross after one of his acts at 
Tres Marias, about fifty kilometers from here. A train 
was attacked, looted, oil was poured on the passengers, 
and the train was set on fire. The doctors who went to 
the station to get the remains out of the train say the 
sight was unforgetable. The name Zapata has now be- 
come a symbol of brigandage, and many operate under 
it. No general sent into Morelos has ever brought order. 
For instance, one was sent to Michoacan with two thou- 
sand cavalry, to put down a small force of several 
hundred brigands; though he had the grazing free, he 
charged the government 50 centavos per horse! It be- 
came a vicious, but profitable, circle, as you can well see. 

There has been a great break in exchange. The peso, 
which was two to one when we first came to Mexico, and 
lately has been three to one, or nearly that, broke Sat- 
urday, and went to four and a half to the gold dollar. 
Various explanations. Huerta has been threatening to 
fotmd a bank of his own if the bankers did not do some- 
thing for him. Some say that the bankers brought on the 
break in exchange to scare him, and others that Huerta 
proposed estabHshing a bank of his own to scare them! 
Anyway, exchange broke. Dining his conversation with 
the bankers, apropos of the loans they were loath to give 
him, Huerta is said to have jocularly remarked that 
there were trees enough in Chaptiltepec Park to hang 
them all on without crowding. Those old cypresses 
have witnessed a good deal, but a consignment of indige- 
nous and foreign bankers hanging with the long, gray 
moss from their branches would have savored of nov- 
elty. 

A gusty day on this usually wind-still plateau. The 
pale yellow streamers of the banana-tree are torn to 

219 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

tatters, but one must forgive an occasional vagary in 
this climate, unsurpassed in its steady beauty, and which 
has the further recommendation that one can count on 
wearing one's winter clothes in summer, and one's sum- 
mer clothes in winter. * * * 

Disorder here has been most prejudicial to French 
interests. Since Maximilian's time, especially, they have 
had the habit of investments in Mexico. Now billions 
of francs are unproductive. It will be a fine bill poor 
old Uncle Sam will get from la belle France ! 

7-30. 

My callers are' all gone, and Elim is playing bull-fight 
with a red- velvet square from one of the tables, talking 
Spanish to himself and making every gesture of his game 
true to life. I am thankful the bull-fight season is over. 
No more doleful-faced servants of a Sunday, heart- 
broken, like children, because they are not swelling the 
gay throng passing the Embassy to the Ring, and making 
me feel like a wretch because they aren't all there. 

Nelson went down to try to look at his guns, presum- 
ably at the customs. At least, he is as near as that, 
with ears full of promises. 

A telegram from Aunt L. says she starts up from the 
Hot Country in a day or two. I am having the lovely 
corner room next mine made ready for her. 

March 14th. 

We learn that the guns and ammunition supposed to 
be got in quietly, as Embassy stores, bore on the invoice 
the name of the colonel in charge at the Springfield 
arsenal. Hence these tears ! They are now reposing in a 
deserted church near the military station, outside the 
city. There would have been no trouble had they been 
sent as Nelson requested. Now endless runnings are 
necessary. 

My house is overrun with children. They tell me 

220 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

it looks like an orphanage, at the back. Such nice, 
little, bright-eyed Aztecs. In this stricken land how 
can I deny shelter and food to little children who are, 
so to speak, washed up at my door? The cook has three, 
the washerwoman two, and the chambermaid is going 
to present us with another. La recherche de la paternity 
shows the responsible person to have been our quiet, 
trusty messenger, Pablo. I will deduct ten pesos a month 
from his wages for six months — a salutary proclama to 
everybody else of my sentiments. I will send her to the 
hospital, and she will soon be back. The washerwoman 
has just borrowed ten dollars to change her lodgings, as 
the leva are after her husband. I sometimes feel like one 
of the early friars. Nothing that is Indian is foreign 
to me. 

Last night Dr. Ryan was telling us, after dinner 
(Patchin, who is returning to New York, also was here), 
of the killing, of Gustavo Madero, of which he was an 
eye-witness and concerning whose death so many ver- 
sions are current. Shortly after one o'clock, on going 
back to the Ciudadela, where Felix Diaz was quartered, 
to attend to wounded who had been brought in, Ryan 
encountered Madero being brought out with a guard 
of twelve men. Diaz didn't want him there, saying he 
was not his prisoner, but Huerta's. Madero was gestic- 
ulating in a hysterical manner and waving his arms in 
the air. As Ryan afterward learned, he was offering 
the guards money if they would see him safely out of 
town. His nerve seemed suddenly to leave him and he 
began to run, whereupon one of the guards fired, hitting 
him in the eye as he tvuned his head to look behind him. 
The other eye was glass. This gave rise afterward to 
stories that his eyes had been gouged out. On his con- 
tinuing to run, the whole guard fired at him, and he fell, 
riddled with bullets, Ryan afterward examined the body 

;(2i 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

and found ten or twelve wounds. It all took place in 
the little park before the Ciudadela. This is the au- 
thentic account, and at least we know that Huerta was 
in no way responsible for his death. Doubtless had 
Gustavo kept his nerve, instead of trying to run, he 
would be alive to-day. He was an awful bounder, but 
had qualities of vitality, intellect, and a certain animal 
magnetism. His is the famous remark that ''out of a 
family of clever men, the only fool was chosen for Presi- 
dent. ' ' He wasn't more than thirty-five or thirty-six, and 
loved life. He had a power of quick repartee, a glanc- 
ing eye, and hands seeking treasure. Well, that is all 
over, but it remains part of the unalterable history of 
Mexico. Poor, revolution-ridden Mexico! Everybody 
here has been one kind, generally two kinds, of revolu- 
tionist. Huerta served under Diaz, was gotten rid of, 
and served under Madero, whom he got rid of. Orozco 
was the friend of Madero against Diaz, then against 
Madero under Huerta, and so it goes. The history 
of almost every public man shows like changes of ban- 
ner, and as for revolution fomenters, the United States 
have certainly played a consistent and persistent 
r61e for three years, outdone by no individual or faction 
here. 

I shall never forget my first experience of Latin- 
American revolutions. It was a beautiful May after- 
noon, now nearly three years ago, when a howling mob 
of several thousands went through the streets, shouting 
"Death to Diaz!" finally collecting in the Zocalo under 
the windows of the apartment in the Palacio Nacional, 
where Diaz was lying with a badly ulcerated tooth and 
jaw. Two days later, in the wee, small hours, the once- 
feared, adored, all-powerful, great man of Mexico, with 
the immediate members of his family, was smuggled on 
board a train secretly provided by Mr. Brown, under the 

222 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

escort of Huerta, and was taken to Vera Cruz. From 
there he embarked on the Ypiranga, to join other kings 
in exile, having said good-by, probably forever, to the 
land of his triumphs and glories. It was touch and go 
with him during those days, and he had created modem 
Mexico out of blood and chaos. 

When Madero. is put out — ^in the almost automatic 
fashion by which governments are overthrown in Latin 
America — we refuse to recognize the man who, by armed 
force, put him out, as he himself got in. Put a revolu- 
tion in the slot and out comes a President. We isolate 
Huerta; we cut him off completely from the help of 
other nations; we destroy his credit; we tell him he must 
go, because we tolerate no man coming to power through 
bloodshed. Huerta, it appears, was amusing but un- 
quotable about 'the recognition of Peru, saying in part 
that both he and Benavides were military leaders, and 
that both executed a coup d'etat resulting in the over- 
throw of the existing government. In Peru the r&volution 
du palais cost the lives of eight fimctionaries, among them 
the Ministers of War and Marine, the exile of President 
Billinghurst, and ended in the setting up of a junta 
government. As for the Peruvians themselves, they 
are said to have had the vertigo, they were recognized 
so suddenly — and so unexpectedly. 

You will remember that months ago we gave asylum 
for a week to Manuel Bonilla, and then conveyed him 
to Vera Cruz, under dramatic circumstances, on his 
promise not to join the rebels. Well, he joined the 
rebels as quickly as time and space would allow, and we 
read in this morning's newspaper that he has now been 
jailed by Carranza for plotting against him. I suppose he 
got dissatisfied with what he was getting out of the rebels, 
and tried something subversive that looked promising. 
If Carranza gets any kind of proof against him — or prob- 

223 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

ably without it — he will execute him some morning, in 
the dawn. Oh, the thousands of men who have walked 
out in the chilly, pale, Mexican dawn to render their 
last accounts! 

March 17th. 

Yesterday I did not write. Aunt L. arrived imex- 
pectedly, at eight o'clock, and no one was at the station 
to meet her. However, all's well that ends well, and she 
is now up in her red-carpeted, red-and-gold-papered, sun- 
flooded room, and I hope will take a good rest. By way 
of variety, not that I have much to choose from, I put 
Marius the Epicurean and The Passionate Friends on her 
night-table, with a single white rose. She has ridden her 
own situation so courageously and so wittily all these 
years, that I am thankful to have her here where she 
can turn that charming blue eye of hers, which so makes 
me think of yours, on my situation. When I looked into 
her face this morning, I quite imderstood why they call 
her the ** Angel of the Isthmus." 

News from the north shows slow, but sure, disinte- 
gration of the rebel ranks. It is the old story of the house 
divided against itself. Also, Villa may be yielding to the 
Capuan-like delights of Chihuahua and hesitating to 
imdertake a new, and perhaps inglorious, campaign 
against Torreon. Just how Mr. Lind takes the slump 
in rebels — for a slump there certainly has been — I 
don't know. We are beginning to see the results of 
the long months of cabling his dreams to the Pres- 
ident, who, I am sure, if he ever awakes to the real 
kind of bedfellows, that he has been dreaming 
with, will nearly die. The Washington cerebration 
doesn't take in readily the kind of things that happen 
here. AU is known about burglars, white-slave trade, 
wicked corporations, unfaithful stewards, defaulting 
Sunday-school superintendents, baseball cheats, and 

224 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

the like; but the murky, exotic passions that move Villa 
are entirely outside consciousness. 

Poor, old, frightened Carranza must feel more than 
uneasy at the thought of that great, lowering brute in 
the flush of triumph, who is waiting for him on the 
raised dais in the government house at Chihuahua. 
His ** cause" is dead if he listens to Villa — and he is dead 
if he doesn*t. 

I had a call from the minister this morning, 

and a talk about the matters none of us can keep away 
from. He looks at politics without illusion and in a 
rather Bismarckian way. He says we Americans are in 
the act of destroying a people which is just becoming 
conscious of itself and could, in a few generations, be- 
come a nation; but that it never will do so, because we 
are going to strangle its first cry. He considers that it 
is a geographical and ethical necessity for us to have no 
armed nation between us and Panama, and if we can 
have the patience and the iron nerves to watch its disso- 
lution on the lines we are now pursuing, it will be ours 
without a shot. But he adds that we will get nervous, 
as all modems do, watching a people on the rack, and 
our policy will break. He added, with a smile, that na- 
tions are like women, nervous and inconsistent; and 
that, happily for the Mexicans and foreign Powers inter- 
ested, we won't be able to stand the strain of watching 
the horrors our policy would entail. I cried out against 
this parting shot, but he went off with an imconvinced 
gesture. 

March 19th. 

Yesterday we went to Chapultepec for the fiangailles of 
the second son of Huerta and the daughter of General 
Hernandez, now at the front. It was a large gathering, 
at which many elements of the old society were present. 
The powerful, wealthy, chic Rincon Gaillardo clan are 

225 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

playing the part in the Huerta government that the 
Escandons did in the Diaz regime — a work of amalgama- 
tion, though they consistently boycotted the Madero 
regime. Of course, there were many ''curiosities." The 
two spinster sisters of Huerta were there with their flat, 
strong Indian faces and thick, dark wigs or hair, natu- 
rally steered one of them toward old gold for a costume, 
and the other toward shot blue and red; but they were 
dignified and smiling. Sefiora Blanquet is another curi- 
osity. Blanquet himself is one of the handsomest and 
most distingu^-lodking elderly men I have ever seen; but 
his wife, was squat, and flat-faced, and very dark, seem- 
ing to have come out of some long-hidden corner of his 
history. Madame Huerta looked very handsome and 
amiable in a good dress of white silk veiled with fine, 
black lace, the famous big, round diamond hung by a 
slender chain about her neck. 

The prospective bridegroom, twenty-three, had his 
mother's eyes; and the family seemed happy in a nice, 
simple way in the midst of their grandeur. The ''tear- 
less" old man was in high spirits, and his speech at 
the tea was a great success of spontaneity, with a few 
fundamental truths and many flashes of humor. He 
began by telling the young couple not to count on him, 
or his position, but on their own efforts to create position 
and honor; and to begin modestly. 

"You know how I began," he added, with what I can 
only call a grin illuminating his whole face, "and look at 
me now!" 

Of course everybody applauded and laughed. Then 
he became grave again. "Struggle," he said, "is the es- 
sence of life, and those who are not called on to struggle 
are forgotten of Heaven. You all know what I am carry- 
ing." He told them, also, to honor and respect each 
other, and to try to be models; adding, with another 

226 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

flash, ' * I have been a model, but a mediocre one !" {''Yo 
he sido un modelo — pero medianoF') 

It all passed off very genially, with much drinking of 
healths. Huerta has a way of moving his hands and 
arms when he speaks, sometimes his whole body, with- 
out giving any impression of animation; but those old 
eyes look at any one he addresses in the concentrated 
manner of the bom leader. He had had a meeting of 
many of the big hacendados, to beg their moral support 
in the national crisis, and I imagine their attitude had 
been very satisfactory. They are to contribute, among 
other things, one hundred and sixty horses to haul the 
new cannon and field-pieces shortly coming from France. 
They are each to supply ten men, etc. He was wise 
enough to ask them to do things they could do. * * * 

I saw a silver rebel peso the other day. It had ejercito 
constitucionalista for part of its device, and the rest was 
''Muera HuertaF* (''Death to Huerta!") instead of some 
more gentle thought, as "In God we trust.'* 

The stories of rebel excesses brought here, by refugees 
from Durango, pass all description. It was the Constitu- 
tionalistas under General Tomas Urbina who had the 
first "go" at the town, and it was the priests, especially, 
that suffered. The Jesuit and Carmelite churches were 
looted, and when they got to the cathedral they had 
the finest little game of saqueo^ imaginable, breaking 
open the tombs of long-dead bishops and prying the 
dusty remains out with their bayonets, in the hunt for 
valuables, after having rifled the sacristy of the holy 
vessels and priceless old vestments. The wife of the 
rebel cahecilla wore, in her carriage (or, rather, in some- 
body else's carriage), the velvet mantle taken from the 
Virgen del Carmen, in the cathedral. The priests can't 
even get into the churches to say Mass, and their principal 

^Saqueo (sacking). 
227 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

occupation seems to be ringing the bells on the saint's 
day of any little chieftain who happens to find himself 
in Durango. The orgies that go on in the Government 
house are a combination of drunkenness, revelings with 
women of the town (who are decked out in the jewels and 
clothes of the former society women of Durango), break- 
ing furniture and window-panes, and brawlings. The 
once well-to-do people of the town go about in peon 
clothes; anything else would be stripped from them. 
This seems to be "constitutionalism" in its fullest 
Mexican sense, and what crimes are committed in its 
name! Heaps of handsome furniture, bronzes, pianos, 
and paintings, once the appurtenances of the upper-class 
homes, fill the plaza, or are thrown on dust-heaps out- 
side the town, too cumbersome to be handled by the 
rebels and too far from the border to sell to the Texans, — 
to whom, I imderstand, much of the loot of Chihuahua 
goes for absurd prices. 



XVIII 

Back to Vera Cruz — Luncheon on the Chester — San Juan's prison horrors 
— Tea on the Mayflower — The ministry of war and the commissary 
methods — Torreon falls again? — Don Eduardo Iturbide. 

Vera Cruz, March 21st. 

N.'S sciatica is so bad that Dr. Fichtner told him to 
get to sea-level immediately. So last night we 
left, Dr. Ryan coming with us. At the station we 
found a guard of fifty of the crack Twenty-ninth Regi- 
ment to "protect" us, and a car placed at our disposal 
by Huerta. We had already arranged to go with Hohler 
and Mr. Easton, who is the secretary of the National 
lines, in his private car, thinking we wouldn't put the 
government to the expense of one specially for us — 
though, as the government already owes some millions 
to the railroads, a few hundreds more or less would make 
little difference. We were half an hour late, as we in- 
sisted upon having the government car put off; but 
the fifty soldiers, with a nice young captain, suffering 
from an acute attack of tonsilitis, we could not shake. 
At Vera Cruz we found a norther blowing, and I 
was glad to have my tailor-made suits. Mr. Lind 
seemed not quite so well as before. I think eight months 
of Vera Cruz food and monotony have told on him, be- 
sides the evident failure of his policy. He feels dread- 
fully about the Creelman article. He cast one look of 
supreme chagrin at me when I mentioned Shanklin's dis- 
gust at being quoted as having found Huerta in the 
16 229 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

coulisses of a theater, with an actress on each knee, 
and with another hanging around his neck, feeding 
him brandy. The truth being that ShankHn went to 
pay his respects to him in his box at some charity repre- 
sentation, and found Huerta, mightily bored, sitting 
alone with two aides. The Lind thing is not so easy to 
refute. He did write the letter to the rebel, Medina, and 
he has dreamed dreams, and sent them on to Washing- 
ton. His policy is a dead failure, and I think its ghost 
walks with him at night. 

We lunched on the Chester with Captain Moffett, who 
is most discriminating about the whole situation, and, 
after an hour on the wind-swept deck, came back to the 
car, where we found delightful, spontaneous Captain 
McDougall, of the Mayflower, come to ask us if we 
wouldn't transfer our bags and ourselves and servant 
over to his ship. The annoying part of the whole trip 
is that Admiral Fletcher is in Mexico City. We did not 
tell any one of our coming down to Vera Cruz, nor did 
he annotmce that he was coming up, with Mrs. Fletcher 
and his two daughters. However, it is simply one of 
those annoying contretemps for which there is no help. 
They went up by the * ' Interoceanic " route as we came 
down by the ' * Mexican. ' * I would have returned myself, 
leaving N. on the Mayflower; but he feels that he must 
carry out the plan of returning to-morrow night, as he 
has correspondence that he wants to show the admiral. 

Sunday. 
Last night we dined on the Essex, to which Admiral 
Cradock has transferred his flag, the Suffolk having gone 
to Bermuda for a new coat of paint and other furbish- 
ings. Admiral Cradock is always the same delightful 
friend and companion. I played bridge till a late 
hour, with the admiral, Hohler, and Captain Wat- 

230 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

son. Watson has just come from Berlin, where for three 
years he was naval attache. 1 saw many photographs of 
old friends — the Granvilles, Sir Edward Goschen, the 
Grews, the Kaiser. After a rather uncertain trip back to 
the shore, Hohler, Nelson, and myself threaded our way 
along the dark interstices of the Vera Cruz wharves and 
terminal tracks to the car — I, in long dress and thin 
slippers, bowed to the norte. 

We can't get out to the Florida y Captain Rush in 
command, on account of the high sea. I went to Mass 
with Ryan in the cathedral, which they have painted a 
hideous, cold gray, with white trimmings, since I saw it 
last. Then it had its belle patine of pinkish-brown, that 
shone like bronze in the setting sun, and it was beautiful 
at all hours. However, the winds and the storms and 
the hot sun will again beautify man's hideous work. 

In the Car, Sunday Evening. 

We had Itinch for Admiral Cradock and several of his 
staff in the car, to which we had also asked Captain 
Moffett and Captain McDougall — a rather "close," but 
merry company of nine officers and myself, in the little 
dining-room. After dinner we started out to San Juan 
Ulua. 

Monday y 10.30 a.m. 

I am comfortably writing in my state-room. We are 
not yet near Mexico City. My beloved volcanoes are a 
little unradiant, a dusty veil hangs over everything. It 
is often that way a month before the rains begin. 

When we got to the station at seven, last night, we 
found that the train, which, according to schedtde, was 
to leave at 7.20, had departed, with our private car and 
the servants, at 6.55. The servants had begged at 
least to have our car imcoupled, but no! You can im- 
agine the faces of the charges who had to be in Mexico 

231 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

City Monday morning. The upshot of it all was that a 
locomotive was finally got ready, sent to catch the train 
and to bring back our car. After the telegraph and 
telephone, the whole station, and the town, for that 
matter, were up on end, we got off at ten o'clock. If the 
car had not come back, we intended to board a loco- 
motive and to chase the train through the tropical 
night. The locomotive we finally secured broke down 
later on. On one of the steep, dark, flower - scented 
inclines, strange, dusky silhouettes gathered silently to 
watch the repairing, which was finally accomplished in 
the uncertain light of torch and lantern. Now we are 
due at the city at 12.30, the locomotive, our car, the car 
containing the fifty soldiers, and the poor officer who 
hasn't had even a drop of water since he left Mexico City, 
Friday night. We sent pillows and blankets out to him 
and tried to make him comfortable, but of the good cheer, 
wine and viands he could take none. 

I must tell you about the visit to the prison of San 
Juan. After lunch. Dr. Ryan, Captain McDougall, Dr. 
Hart, Mr. Easton, and I got into the Mayflower's boat 
and were taken to the landing of that most miserable of 
places. A strong wind was blowing from the purifying 
sea, which must help, from October to April, at least, to 
keep San Juan from being an unmitigated pest-hole. It 
is a huge place, composed of buildings of different pe- 
riods, from the Conquerors to Diaz, with intersecting 
canals between great masses of masonry. To get to the 
commandant's quarters we were obliged to skirt the 
water's edge, where narrow sHts of about three inches' 
width, in walls a meter and a half thick, lead into other- 
wise tmlighted and unaired dungeons. Human sounds 
came faintly from these apertures. 

Entering through the portcullis, we found ourselves in 
the big courtyard where the official life of the prison 

232 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

goes on, overlooked by the apartments of the colonel 
and the closely guarded cells for big political prisoners. 
Good-conduct men, with bits of braid on one arm, solic- 
ited us to buy the finely carved fruit-stones and cocoa- 
nuts. To us these represented monkeys, heads, and the 
like; to the men that make them they represent sanity 
and occupation for the horrible hours — though God alone 
knows how they work the fine and intricate patterns in 
the semi-darkness of even the " best " dungeons. 

Afterward we went up on the great parapets, the 
norte blowing fiercely — I in my black Jeanne Halle 
hobble-skirt and a black tulle hat, as later we were to 
go to tea on the Mayflower. We walked over great, flat 
roofs of masonry in which were occasional square, barred 
holes. Peering down in the darkness, thirty feet or so, 
of any one of these, there woiild be, at first, no sound, 
only a horrible, indescribable stench mingling with the 
salt air. But as we threw boxes of cigarettes into the 
foul blackness there came vague, human groans and 
rumbling noises, and we could see, in the blackness, hu- 
man hands upstretched or the gleam of an eye. If above, 
in that strong norther, we could scarcely stand the 
stench that arose, what must it have been in the 
depths below? About eight hundred men hve in those 
holes. 

When we got back to the central court, our hearts 
sick with the knowledge of misery we could do nothing to 
alleviate, the prison afternoon meal was being served — 
coffee, watery bean soup, and a piece of bread. Oh, the 
pale, malaria-stricken Juans and Ramons and Joses that 
answered to the roll-call, carrying their tin cups and 
dishes, as they passed the great caldrons. They filed 
out, blinking and stumbling, before the armed sentinels, 
to return in a moment to the filthy darkness ! Captain 
McDougall, a very human sort of person, tasted of the 

^?3 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

coffee from one of their tin cups. He said it wasn't 
bad, and he gave the men a friendly word and packages 
of cigarettes as they passed. 

We bought all the little objects they had to sell, 
and distributed among them dozens of boxes of ciga- 
rettes. But we, with liberty, honors, opulence, and hopes, 
felt the foolishness of our presence, our blessing of lib- 
erty being all that any one of them would ask. The pris- 
oners are there for every crime imaginable, but many of 
the faces were sorrowful and fever-stamped, rather than 
brutal. All were apparently forgotten of Heaven and 
unconsidered of man. We also visited the little, wind- 
swept cemetery, with its few graves. The eternal hot 
tides wash in and out of the short, sandy stretch that 
boimds it. About the only *' healing" worked here is 
what the salt sea does to the poor bodies raked out of 
those prison holes. There is a stone to mark the place 
where some of our men were buried when they took the 
fortress in 1847. Dr. Ryan discovered a foot in a good 
American boot — evidently the remains of an individual 
recently eaten by a shark. 

That fortress has been the home of generations of 
horrors, and there is no one in God's world to break 
through that oozing masonry and alleviate the suffering 
it conceals. It was one of the cries of Madero to open 
up the prison, but he came, and passed, and San Juan 
Ulua persists. I haven't described one-tenth of the 
horrors. I know there must be prisons and there must be 
abuses in all communities; but this pest-hole at the en- 
trance to the great harbor where our ships lie within a 
stone's-throw seems incredible. 

Afterward, the contrast of tea, music, and smart, 
ready-to-dance young officers on the beautiful Mayflower 
rather inclined me to stillness. I was finding it difficult 
to let God take care of His world ! 

234 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

March 24th, 

I am sitting in the motor, jotting this down in the 
shade of some trees by the beautiful Alameda, waiting 
for N. to finish at the Foreign Office. Afterward he goes 
to ''Guerra'' and I to shop. 

Yesterday afternoon, on our return from Vera Cruz, 
N. dashed to the telephone and commimicated with the 
Fletchers. They came to tea at four. Later Nelson 
went out with the admiral, and I drove to San Angel 
with Mrs. Fletcher and her two pretty daughters. She 
is most agreeable. Her appreciation of the sunset on the 
volcanoes, which were in their most splendid array for 
the occasion, was all my heart could have asked. They 
return to Vera Cruz to-night. 

I am feeling very fit, after a good night's rest ; the air 
envelops me like a luminous wrap, and the sun is softly 
penetrating. 

The arms and ammimition are not yet delivered. 
Nothing was done in N.'s absence, of course. He didn't 
want them, anyway; of what use are they in civilian 
hands? * * * 

The War Ministry is just off the Zocalo, in one side of 
the great, square building of the Palacio Nacional. 
From where I am sitting I see the soft, pink towers of 
the cathedral, in their lacy outlines. On the left is the 
Museo Nacional — a beautiful old building of the pink, 
tezontle stone the Spaniards used to such effect in their 
buildings. It contains all the Aztec treasures still re- 
maining after centuries of destruction, and has a cozy, 
sun-warmed patio where the sacrificial altars and the 
larger pieces are grouped. Most of them were found in 
the very site of the cathedral, which replaced the teocalli 
of the Aztecs — the first thing the Spaniards destroyed, 
to rear on its site the beautiful cathedral. I am sur- 
rounded by an increasing crowd of beggars, drawn by a 

23 s 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

few indiscreet centavos given to an old Indian woman, 
who too loudly blessed me; cries of ''Nina, pot el amor 
de DiosF' and ''Nina, por la Santa Madre de Diosf' make 
me feel that I would better move on. The name of God 
is invoked so unceasingly by the beggars here that the 
word pordiosero (for-Godsaker, beggar,) has passed into 
the language. 

At Home, before Lunch. 

N. came out of Guerra, having met in the corridor the 
immensely tall Colonel Cardenas, the best shot in Mexi- 
co. He is supposed to know just how Madero's mor- 
tal coil was hustled off. He was in command of the 
squad transporting him and Pino Suarez from the Palacio 
to the Penitenciaria when they were shot. We then went 
to the third side of the Palacio Nacional, where the zapa- 
dores barracks is, to see how the officer of the Twenty- 
ninth, who went down with us to Vera Cruz, is getting 
on. It was very interesting, at twelve o'clock, to watch 
the various persons who bring food into the barracks. 
The guards search them all — men, women, and children 
— ^by passing their hands down their sides. The prettier 
young women get pinches or pokes anywhere the guard 
happens to fancy bestowing them, and they all give lit- 
tle squeals and jumps, sometimes annoyed, sometimes 
pleased. They bring in great baskets of tortillas, enchi- 
ladas, frijoles, fruits, etc. The men in the barracks are 
absolutely dependent on them for food, as there is no 
other army supply. Another guard kept off troublesome, 
too solicitous small boys with a bit of twisted twine, 
flicking them, with a stinging sound, about the legs. I 
found it most amusing. Finally the yoimg captain him- 
self came out to thank us and to tell us he was almost 
well — with an expectant look on his pale face. He 
wants N. to have him made a major. Why not, 
when every officer seems to have been promoted — a 

236 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

clever trick of Huerta's. He has made several extra 
grades at the top to give himself room. He will need 
space for manoeuvers of an army largely composed of 
higher officers. He is going to get the interior loan of 
fifty millions, with the guarantee of t^e Paris loan. * * * 
The Austro-Hungarian minister has just come to ask 
me to go out to San Angel with him, so adieu. 

March 25th. 

We have just had a beautiful motor-drive out to San 
Angel Inn, talking politics and scenery. The volcanoes 
had great lengths of clouds, thrown like twisted scarfs, 
about their dazzling heads. 

Kanya de Kanya was with Count Aerenthal during his 
four years in Vienna, as Minister for Foreign Affairs, and 
during that time made copious notes relating to the 
burning questions of the Near East, which will, of course, 
throw light on the big international issues of that period. 
He is hoping for a quiet time out here, to get them in 
order, though he can't publish them until a lot more 
water has flowed under the Austro-Hungarian mill. 

I got home in time to sit with Aunt Laura awhile be- 
fore dressing for dinner, for which I was expecting 
Hohler. The meal was somewhat unquiet. One of the 
newspaper men called up to say that Torreon had fallen, 
and gave a few convincing details, such as that of Ve- 
lasco's life being spared. The fifty-million-dollar loan 
receded into the dim distance. We immediately pic- 
tured to ourselves the pillaging, ravishing hordes of 
Villa — the ** human tiger," as some of our newspapers 
mildly put it — falling down upon Mexico City, the 
peaceful. Nelson ordered the motor, and he and Hohler 
went out, as soon as dinner was over, to get some news 
at the War Department. A big fight, we know, is going 
on, As I write, brother is killing and mutilating brother, 

237 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

in the fertile laguna district, and horrors unspeakable are 
taking place. Velasco is said to be honest and capable, 
and he has money and ammunition. 

General Maure, who left for the front a few days ago, 
wouldn't start until he had money enough for two 
months for his men. He also is supposed to be honest, 
and if he does feed his men, instead of putting the money 
in some bank in the States (if they would all feed their 
men, instead of asking worn, empty-stomached men to 
do the work), he may, perhaps, proceed toward victory. 
The corruption of the officers is what nullifies the work 
of the army, and Huerta says he is powerless against it. 
Any man he might court-martial is sure of the support 
of the United States. In order to remain faithful the 
troops only ask enough food to keep life in their bodies 
during the campaign. The picture of starving troops, 
locked in box-cars during the night, to prevent their de- 
serting, and then being called on to fight when they are 
let out in the morning, makes one fairly sick. A free 
hand at loot and a full stomach on food belonging to 
somebody else are naturally irresistible when the chance 
comes. 

Such an appreciative letter has come from Archbishop 
Riordan, thanking Nelson for his Pius Fund achievement. 

Mexico has declined, upon good international law, to 
take upon herself the board bill (now amounting to hun- 
dreds of thousands in gold) for the interned refugees 
at Fort Bliss. We wonder how long Uncle Sam will feel 
like playing host? This situation, among many tragic 
ones growing out of our policy, is the only thing that 
calls an unrestrained grin to the face — a grin at Uncle 
Sam's expense. 

March 2^th. Morning. 

I am sitting in the motor in Chapultepec Park, under 
the shade of a great cypress, v^rhile N. converses with the 

238 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Dictator in his motor down the avenue. All sorts of 
birds are singing, and a wonderful little humming-bird 
{chupamirtoSy the Indians call them) is so near I can hear 
it "hum." Elim is nmning over the green grass with his 
butterfiy-net. I am thinking, ''Sweet day, so soft, so 
cool, so bright." This seems the city of peace. In the 
north the great combat continues. The rebels use al- 
most exclusively expansive bullets, which give no chance 
to the wotmded. Huerta, whom Nelson saw last night, 
is calm and imperturbable. His loan of 50,000,000 pesos 
is an accomplished fact. This won't suit Washington. 

Nelson was speaking this morning of the famous inter- 
view between Lind, Gamboa (then Minister for Foreign 
Affairs), and himself — that interview which has now be- 
come part of history. Lind has a characteristic gesture 
— ^that of tapping with his right hand on his left 
wrist. With this gesture to emphasize his words 
he said to Gamboa, "Three things we can do if Huerta 
does not resign: First, use the financial boycott." (This 
has been done.) "Second, recognize the rebels." (This 
has been done to the fullest extent by raising the em- 
bargo, giving them full moral support and being ready 
to give them financial aid with the slightest co-operation 
and decency on their part). "Third, intervene." 

These propositions were set forth nearly eight months 
ago, and to-day Huerta's position is better, by far, than 
at that time. He has kept law and order in his provinces. 
The big third thing — intervention — ^yet remains, but on 
what decent grounds can we intervene? 

If, by any remote chance, the rebels should get here, 
what desecrations, what violations of Mexico City — the 
peaceful, the beautiful! 

At Home. Afternoon. 

I waited a long time for Nelson this morning. Gen. 
Rincon Gaillardo came up to speak to me, looking very 

239 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

smart in his khaki riding-clothes with a touch of gold 
braid. He is an erect, light-haired, straight-featured 
Anglo-Saxon-looking man. He had just returned from a 
tour of inspection in Hidalgo; had ridden through the 
state with a couple of aides, and had found everything 
most peaceful. I asked, of course, if there was any news 
from the north; but everywhere wire and communica- 
tion of any kind is cut, and no one knows. Eduardo 
Iturbide (he is spoken of as governor of the Federal dis- 
trict to succeed Corona), also came up to speak to me. 
A lot of people were waiting to see Huerta, but he 
never hurries. After he had seen Rincon Gaillardo and 
Nelson, he went away, ignoring discomfited occupants of 
half a dozen motors. 

Iturbide always says he has no political talents, but 
it was inevitable that he be drawn into events here. He 
would give prestige and dignity to any office. There is 
a description of the Emperor Augustin Iturbide, ''brave, 
active, handsome, in the prime of life," that entirely ap- 
plies to him. I wonder, sometimes, if Don Eduardo's 
fate may not be as tragic as that of the man whose name 
he bears. The ingredients of tragedy are never missing 
from any Mexican political situation. The only varia- 
tion lies in the way they are mixed. ^ What I call Mexi- 
can magic has a way of arresting judgment. One never 
thinks a thing will happen here until it has happened — 
not though a thousand analogous situations have worked 
themselves out to their inevitable, tragic end. It was 
Don Eduardo who made to me the profound and tragedy- 
pointing remark, *'We understand you better than you 
understand us.'* ^ 

* Later, under Pyesident Gutierrez, Don Eduardo made a most haz- 
ardous exit from Mexico. With Zapata and Villa both threatening his 
life, he lay concealed for some days in one of the foreign legations at 
Mexico City. A safe*conduct from Gutierrez was finally procured, and 

240 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Huerta keeps very calm, these days, Nelson says ; no 
nerves there while waiting for news. I suppose he knows 
just how bad his men are, and also the very indefinite 
quality of the rebels. He talked of two years' work be- 
ing necessary for pacification, and then of going to live 
in Washington, to prove that he is neither a wild Indian 
nor a brigand. He is very pleased to get his loan; the 
money is here, and he has known how to get hold of it. 

At the outset Huerta was surrounded by experienced 
and responsible men, but when it became generally un- 
derstood that the United States would not recognize his 
government, intrigues were started against him, and he 
was forced to make changes in his Cabinet. Later on, 
when a friend reproached him with this, he answered, 
quite frankly, "No one regrets it more than I; for now, 
unfortunately, all my friends are thieves!" 

Yesterday's copy of Mister Lind has, as a frontis- 
piece, Mr. Wilson and Villa, standing in a red pool, 
drinking each other's health from cups dripping with 
blood. It is awful to think such things can exist, even 
in imagination. N. has protested to the Federal 
authorities. 

March 28th. 

This morning the newspapers give the "sad" news 
that Carranza seems to be lost in the desert — the moun- 
tain lost on its way to Mohammed ! General Aquevedo, 
who knows that country as he knows his pocket, is sup- 
posed to be after him with 1,200 men. I don't think 
Villa would weep other than crocodile tears if anything 
happened to Carranza; but what would Washington do 

he left the city with Mr. Canova, one of our agents. Villa got news of 
his departure and pursued him to Aguascalientes, Torreon, and Chi- 
huahua, finally coming up with him at Ortiz. Here, in the darkness, Don 
Eduardo was able to escape from the train, wandering over that northern 
desert for eight days before reaching the Rio Grande, which he swam, 
between Mulato and Polvon. — E. O'S. 

241 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

without that noble old man to bear the banner of Consti- 
tutionalism ? "One year of Bryan makes the whole 
world grin!" The idealization of a pettifogging old law- 
yer (licenciado), who had already/ laid his plans to turn 
against Madero, and the sanctification of a bloodthirsty 
bandit, might well make the whole world grin, if the 
agony of a people were not involved. 

I went with Dr. Ryan, this morning, to visit the Gen- 
eral Hospital. It is a magnificent establishment, mod- 
eled on the General Hospital in Paris, with complete 
electrical, hydro-therapeutic, and mechanical appliances, 
thirty- two large sun- and air-fiooded pavilions, operating- 
rooms, and special buildings for tuberculosis patients, 
children, and contagious diseases. The sad part of it is 
that it is only about a third full. The leva (press-gang) 
always rakes in a lot of men here. They hang about the 
handsome doors and grab the dismissed patients, which 
makes the poor wretches prefer to suffer and die in their 
nameless holes. 

On returning, I went down to the Palacio Nacional 
with N., who was on a still hunt for the President. The 
arms are not yet in the Embassy. As I was sitting in the 
motor with Elim, the French chargS got out of his motor 
with Captain de Bertier, the French military attache 
just arrived from Washington, and looking very smart 
in his spick-and-span uniform, ready for his official 
presentation to Huerta. They had their appointment 
for twelve, which had already struck, but the President 
was not there, having departed to Popotla. Huerta 
works along his own lines, and a missed appointment is 
little to him. 

Just home. Mr. de Soto has called me up to tell me 
there is bad news from the front; but I think even the 
bad news is a rumor, as every line around Torreon has 
been cut for days. 

242 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

March 28th. 11.30 p.m. 

At last news is in from the north (by the Associated 
Press), from Gomez Palacio and Ciudad Juarez. Two 
train-loads of rebel wotmded had arrived, and Villa had 
hastily telegraphed for more hospital supplies, though 
he had taken with him an enormous quantity. At the 
end of five days' continuous fighting the rebels had 
failed to make any break in the almost impregnable de- 
fenses of Torreon and Gomez Palacio. Wounded troop- 
ers say that by order of Villa they charged into almost 
certain death at Gomez Palacio, bringing upon them- 
selves the heavy cannonading from the Federal gims; 
that they were deliberately sacrificed in order that other 
forces might be able to attack the town at other points 
without encountering much resistance. And there are 
strange rumors of Villa's succumbing to temptation from 
the ** movie" men, and holding the attack back till day- 
break! It is terrible to contemplate the slaughter of 
unquestioning and innocent Pepes and Juans. I bum 
to go with the hospital service. There will be terrible 
need on both sides, and a wounded man is neither rebel 
nor Federal. 

This is largely an agrarian revolution, and Huerta was 
the first to realize it. He says that everybody has 
made promises to the people, and nobody has kept them. 
I wonder, if the people ever get a chance to make prom- 
ises, will they keep them? QuUn sabef However, all this 
is not a question of taking sides, but of stating facts. 

The invitation of the United States to Huerta to 
attend the Hague Conference has been solemnly ac- 
cepted by him; now international jurists are called on 
to decide if the very sending of the invitation does not 
imply technical recognition. It is one of those slips 
which occasionally happen, and Huerta is too astute to 
let that, or any other opportunity, pass where he can 

243 



X 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

score against the United States. Things being equal, he 
could rouler Washington as it has never been rouled be- 
fore; but things aren't equal, and he can only show 
immense courage, sustained indifference, and indomita- 
ble will in whatever may come up. Just now more and 
more troops are being rushed to the north. 

We are delighted to hear that Warren Robbins and 
Jack White are to be sent here as second and third sec- 
retaries. There is ample Work for all, and it will be 
pleasant to have friends and co-workers. It has been a 
wearing time for N., single-handed in all official deci- 
sions and representations. 

News from the north is more encouraging, but a hor- 
rible struggle is going on. Elim aind I went with Nelson 
to Chapultepec. Though the park is no longer crowded 
in the morning, as in the old days, the band having dis- 
appeared, with a lot of other things, there is still much 
strolling about the cypress-shaded alleys. A shining 
freshness filters through the old trees, the birds sing, the 
children play. Its beauty makes one's heart both glad 
and sick. As we expected, we found the President 
sitting in his motor, which was surrounded by half 
a dozen others full of petitioners of all sorts. Gen- 
eral Corral, in his khaki, came up to salute me and to 
say good-by. He had just taken leave of the President 
and was on his way to the station, whence he was start- 
ing to the north with 2,000 men. I pressed his hand 
and wished him Godspeed; but he may never again 
stand imder those trees with a smile on his face and hope 
in his heart. 

The President got out of his auto and I out of ours, 
and we had a talk, I presenting Elim. Huerta really is 
a charming old fellow! I told him I was anxious to go 
to Saltillo with the Cruz Roja. He said, ''There will be 
work to do here in town, and I will make you head of 

244 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

the International League. You are very kind !" C * Vd. es 
muy buena, Senora.'') And he pressed my hand with 
those small, velvety paws of his. He has discarded the 
slouch-hat and now wears with his long, loose frock-coat 
a top-hat — {''que da mas dignidad'') "for the sake of 
dignity," he said, when Nelson told him he was "very 
stunning." 

Afterward we went down to the Buena Vista station, 
where General Corral's troops were being entrained. 
We found a very busy scene. There were long lines of 
baggage-cars, with fresh straw covering the floors ; other 
baggage-cars containing army women, with their small 
children, babes at the breast, and the bigger children, 
who may be of service. Infants between two and ten are 
left behind. There is a good deal of heterogeneous im- 
pedimenta. Having no homes, these women are wont 
to take all their possessions with them — ^bird-cages, 
goats, old oil-cans, filled with Heaven knows what. The 
soldiers were laughing and joking, and the venders of 
fruits, highly colored bonbons, and still more highly col- 
ored sweet drinks, were having a busy time. The sun 
was terribly hot, so we came away, I with a prayer in my 
heart for the poor devils. Is "God in His heaven" ? Is 
' ' all well with the world " ? 

Monday Morning, 

I am advising Dr. Ryan to get off to Torreon. I 
myself telegraphed to Admiral Fletcher, asking that a 
box of hospital stores, bandages, cotton, iodine, adhesive 
tape, and bichloride tablets be sent up by the officer 
who is coming up to stay with us. Dr. Ryan can 
get off to-morrow afternoon. There is work, much 
work, to do, and I am sick that "my position" pre- 
vents me from going with him. My hands are trem- 
bling for work. 

As to news, everybody in town is pleased, Huertistas 
17 245 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

and Villistas alike. The former have had word of com- 
plete victory — and the latter hears that the rebel forces 
had taken every gate in Torreon and that the Federals 
were in full retreat! 



XIX 

Congress meets without the United States representative — Huerta 
makes his "profession of faith" — Exit Mr. Lind — Ryan leaves for 
the front — French and German military attaches — The Jockey Club. 

April 1st. Morning. 

YESTERDAY Lieutenant Courts (one of Admiral 
Fletcher's flag lieutenants) arrived for an indefinite 
time. He is a shrewd and capable young officer, ready- 
to study the situation intelligently and dispassionately. 
The big house is again full. 

Yesterday we limched at the German Legation. The 
luncheon was given for the French military attacks, 
Count de Bertier de Sauvigny, and the German, Herr von 
Papen, both from Washington for a few weeks. The 
Simons were there, the von Hillers, and various others, 
everybody trying to enlighten the two new arrivals as to 
la situacion. Both find themselves in a position re- 
quiring some tact and agility to keep their seats — d cheval 
as they are between Washington and Mexico City. 
Von Hintze has never cared for Huerta. Occasionally, 
very occasionally, he has given him grudging praise; but 
a man of von Hintze's fastidiousness would always find 
himself fiuide contraire to a man of just Huerta' s defects 
— defects which, I have sometimes argued with von 
Hintze, become qualities in Mexico. All came to tea 
with me later. De Bertier is a very handsome man, of 
the tall, distinguished, fine-featured Gallic type; von 

247 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Papen, with a pleasant and inquiring smile, is the quint- 
essence of the Teuton, his square head and every face 
bone in relief against the Mexican amalgam type my 
eyes are accustomed to. 

The story about the loan, Simon says, is true. Huerta 
remarked to the banking magnates that he had, outside 
the door, two soldiers apiece for each gentleman; that 
there were plenty of trees in Chapultepec ; that he would 
give them ten minutes to decide what they would do. 
He got the loan. 

In the evening Hay and Courts and H. Walker and 
Ryan dined with us, all staying late. Dr. Ryan fears he 
can't get up to Torreon. The road between Monterey 
and Saltillo was blown up the night before last, and it is 
useless to try to get through that desert afoot or on 
horseback. 

Later, 

I went out to Chapultepec with N. and Courts. I 
wanted to show Courts the administrative tableau set in 
the morning beauty of the park, and N. had urgent 
business with the President. There was the usual array 
of autos there, the President in his own, talking with 
de la Lama, Minister of Finance. Afterward Hohler, 
Manuel del Campo, and the two Garcia Pimentel men, 
black-clad, came up, having been to the honras of Ig- 
nacio Algara, brother of the Mexican charge in Wash- 
ington. They were going to have a sandwich, and 
asked Courts and me to go into the restaurant, which 
we did. N. appeared a few minutes later, the President 
with him. The much-advertised copitas were immedi- 
ately served, the President scarcely touching his glass. 
After much badinage between Huerta and N. the jeu- 
nesse dor^ looking on rather embarrassed, Huerta depart- 
ed, with an obeisance to me, and a large, circular gesture 
to the others. He had a telegram from Ciudad Por- 

248 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

firio Diaz, telling of immense losses of the rebels and 
of the Federals still holding their ground — which may 
or may not be true. The little story I paste here is indic- 
ative of Mexicans in general, and of the situation in 
particular : 

The safest bet regarding the many stories about Torreon yester- 
day, was the answer of a Mexican mozo to his master's query as to 
whether it would rain. After a careful survey of the heavens Juan 
replied: " Puede que si, o puede que no, pero lo mas probable es, 
quien sabe?" (Perhaps it will — perhaps it won't; but the most 
probable is " who knows? ") 

April 2d. 

Congress reopened yesterday. Huerta showed some 
emotion when, in the morning, Nelson informed him 
that he could not be present. In the same room that 
saw its dissolution, the same old Indian, in a business- 
like speech that would do credit to any ruler, briefly out- 
lined to Congress the work of government, pending de- 
tailed reports by the departments. There is a tragic 
note in the fact that this persecuted government, in the 
midst of all its anxieties, can discuss such matters as 
the subterranean hydrology of the plateau, and the send- 
ing of delegates to the electro-technic congress, in Ber- 
lin. Huerta wound up his speech with these solemn and 
stirring words: 

** Before I leave this hall I must engrave upon your 
hearts this, my purpose, which on another occasion I 
commimicated to the National Assembly in the most 
expHcit manner — the peace of the republic. If, in order 
to secure it, the sacrifice of you and of me becomes indis- 
pensable, know, once for all, that you and I shall know 
how to sacrifice ourselves. This is my purpose, my pro- 
fession of political faith." 

There was immense applause. But his task seems 
superhuman. To fight the rebels and the United States 
is not simply difficult — it is impossible. 

249 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

April 2d. Evening. 

Villa talks freely about his plan when he triumphs: 
first and foremost, it is to execute Huerta and his whole 
political family, on the principle that the first duty of a 
"Mexican executive is to execute"; then to set up a 
dictatorship for a year. The program drips with blood; 
and these are the people we are bolstering up ! 

Lind leaves to-night for Washington, so exit from the 
tragic scene Don Juan Lindo (I sometimes feel like call- 
ing him Don Juan Blindo), who commenced life in a 
Scandinavian town as Jon Lind, and who has ended by 
dreaming northern dreams in Vera Cruz, in the hour of 
Mexico's agony. My heart is unspeakably bewildered 
at this trick of fate; and, too, he would have long since 
precipitated us into war had it not been for the shrewd 
common sense and trained knowledge of the gifted man 
at the head of the fleet in Vera Cruz. * * * 

A hot indignation invades me as Mr. Lind drops 
out of the most disastrous chapter of Mexican history 
and returns to Minnesota. (Oh, what a far cry !) Upon 
his hands the blood of those killed with the weapons 
of the raising of the embargo — those weapons that, in 
some day and hour unknown to us, must inevitably be 
ttuned against their donors. It is all as certain as 
death, though there are many who refuse to look even 
that fact in the face. 

I am not keen about the confidential agent system, 
anyway. With more standing in the commimity than 
spies, and much less information, they are in an tmrivaled 
position to mislead (wittingly or unwittingly is a detail) 
any one who depends on them for information. Apropos 
of Mr. Lind, one of the foreigners here said it was as if 
Washington kept a Frenchman in San Francisco to in- 
form them concerning our Japanese relations. For some 
strange reason, ^y information delivered by confi- 

?S9 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

dential agents, is generally swallowed, hook and all, but 
unfortunately, the mere designating of them does not 
bestow upon them any sacramental grace. 

April 5th. 

Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday), with soft wind and 
warm sun. The palms were blessed at the nine-o'clock 
Mass in the cathedral. The great pillars of the church 
were hung with purple; thousands of palms were waving 
from devout hands, the hands of beggars and the rich 
alike, and there was some good Gregorian music, in- 
stead of the generally rather florid compositions. Near 
where I knelt was a paralyzed Indian girl, crawling along 
on the most beautiful hands I have ever seen. Her Cal- 
vary is constant. 

Wonderful palm plaitings, of all shapes and patterns, 
are offered by the Indians as one enters the church. I 
bought a beautiful sort of Greek-cross design, with sil- 
very grasses depending from it. It now hangs over my 
bed. 

We hear that the Bishop of Chilapa is held by Zapata 
for a big ransom. As all the well-to-do families have 
either jfied from that part of the country or been robbed 
of all they had, the ransom may not be paid. There is 
a threat to crucify him on Good Friday, if it is not forth- 
coming, but I hardly think he is in danger, as such an act 
would certainly be thought to bring a curse upon the 
people and the place. This is the second time he has 
been made prisoner. He was rescued by Federal sol- 
diers only a few weeks ago. 

Monday Evening, 

We had a pleasant luncheon at Chapultepec restaurant, 
on the veranda — von Hintze, Kanya de Kanya, Stalew- 
ski, the Bonillas, Courts, Strawbensie (the young naval 
officer up from the Essex, who is supposed to be training 
the British colony volunteers), Lady C, von Papen, and 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

ourselves; de Bertier, the French military attache, did 
not materialize. They think, apropos of Torreon ("the 
key of the south/' for the rebels; *'the key of the north,** 
for the Federals), that the Federals may have been obliged 
to evacuate it and are now fighting to get it back. 
Any one seems able to take Torreon, and no one seems 
able to hold it. 

Tuesday Evening, 

At two o'clock Dr. Ryan left for the front, von Papen 
with him. Ryan has learned to travel light, but von 
Papen took a lot of impedimenta — eating-utensils, uni- 
form, blanket, pungaree hat, etc. He will drop his pos- 
sessions, one by one, as — after Saltillo, which they 
should reach to-morrow night — they may be on horse- 
back, or afoot. I was deeply touched to see Dr. Ryan go 
off. I made the sign of the cross on his shoulder ^ and 
commended him to Heaven as we stood at the gate 
under the brilliant sky. He is so pleased to be taking 
all those stores with him — enough for two hundred and 
fifty or three hundred dressings, not including the other 
materials. 

I received calls all afternoon. At four the two hand- 
some Garcia Pimentel sisters came — Lola Riba and 
Rafaela Bemal. At five the Japanese minister brought 
his wife for her first formal call. They are cultivated 
people, with the quality that makes one feel they 
are used to the best at home. I made conversation till 
six, when Clarence Hay saved my life. At seven, just as 
I had gone up-stairs, a Frenchman — a banker — ap- 
peared. At eight I was too tired for dinner, which N. 
and I ignored. The "doves of peace*' are beginning to 

* When we saw Dr. Ryan ofiE to Serbia he suggested laughingly that I 
omit the cross, as he was in jail twice, and once led out to be shot, 
between that Mexican parting and our meeting in Washington six 
weeks later!-— E. O'S. 

2SZ 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

settle in the Embassy dove-cote to-night — about a ton 
of them already here. 

Wednesday Morning. April 8th. 

A Federal officer, Colonel Arce, got in from Torreon 
last night. He says that on Friday, the third, it was still 
in the hands of the Federals. Chieftain Urbina, a noto- 
rious rebel, had been captured and forced, with other 
Revolutionists, to parade the streets of Torreon, be- 
tween a detachment of Federal troops. Then he was 
stmimarily executed in the presence of an immense 
crowd. The railway lines are open between San Pedro 
and Saltillo, and on to Mexico City. Unless they are 
again blown up. Dr. Ryan and von Papen will be able 
to get to San Pedro, where Generals de Maure, Hidalgo, 
Corral (the one I saw off), are stationed, with large re- 
inforcements. We'll take the report for what it is 
worth. One thing we know: the carnage is going on. 

The story just now is that General Velasco, the very 
competent Federal in command of Torreon, volimtarily 
evacuated, took his army and his field-guns to the hills 
above Torreon, with non-combatants and women and 
children, cut the water-supply, and is now waiting orders 
from Huerta to bombard the town. He, of cotuse, has 
plenty of water where he is ; but Torreon dry must be a 
thing of horror. This story agrees with a good deal we 
have been hearing. If true, it will really be a great coup 
on the part of the Federals. 

April gth. Holy Thursday. 

The churches are full to overflowing, these holy days. 
Men, women, and children, of all strata of society, are 
faithful in the discharge of their duties. In this city of 
peace, how contrasting the tales of sacrilege in the rebel 
territory! Five priests were killed and three held for 
ransom in Tamaulipas, last month; a convent was 
sacked and burned and the nuns were outraged; a 

253 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

cathedral was looted, the rebels getting off with the old 
Spanish gold and silver utensils. What kind of adults 
will develop out of the children to whom the desecration 
of churches and the outraging of women are ordinary- 
sights; who, in tender years, see the streets red with 
blood, and property arbitrarily passing into the hands of 
thbse momentarily in power? The children seem the 
pity of it, and it is a bitter fruit the next generation will 
bear. Let him who can, take; and him who can. hold; 
is the device the Constitutionalists really fly. 

In the old days, before the Laws of Reform, there used 
to be the most gorgeous religious processions; but even 
now, with all that splendor in abeyance, there remains 
something that is unsuppressed and unsuppressable. To- 
day the population has streamed in and out of the 
churches and visited the repositories (with their blaze of ^ 
light and bankings of orange-trees, roses, and lilies, and' 
coimtless varieties of beautifid palms), with all the ardor 
of the old days. No restrictions can prevent the Indian 
from being supremely picturesque at the slightest oppor- 
tunity. 

I went, as usual, to San Felipe, named after the Mexi- 
can saint who, in the sixteenth century, found martyr- 
dom in Japan. It is just opposite the Jockey Club, j 
Outside the zaguan, on the chairs generally placed on' 
the pavement for the members, were sitting various 
males of the smart set. All, without exception (I think I 
could put my hand in the fire for them), had been to^ 
Mass; which, however, didn't prevent their usual closer 
scrutiny of the small, beautifid feet of the passing Mexi- 
can women; two and one-half C is the usual size of a* 
Mexicana's shoes. 

This Casa de los Azujelos, where the Jockey Club has 
had its being for generations, is a most lovely old house. 
It is covered with beautiful blue-and-white Puebla tiles, 

254 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

appliqued by an extravagant and aesthetic Mexican in 
the seventeenth century, and is perfectly preserved, in 
spite of the many kinds of revolucionarios who have 
surged up the Avenida San Francisco, which, with the 
PaseOy forms the thoroughfare between the Palacio and 
Chapultepec. The men of the club play high and there 
are stories of fabulous losses, as well as of occasional 
shootings to death. It is the chic, aristocratic club of 
Mexico, the last and inviolable retreat of husbands. Any- 
body who is any one belongs to it.^ 

A telegram from Dr. Ryan this morning reports: 
"The Federals have lost Torreon. Velasco, retreating, 
met Maure, Maass, and Hidalgo, at San Pedro; army 
reorganized, and it is now attacking Torreon, and will 
surely take it back." He and von Papen got as far as 
Saltillo by rail. There, communications had been cut. 
There had been a big encounter at San Pedro de las 
Colonias, and I hope that even as I write faithful Ryan 
is proceeding with his work of mercy among the wounded. 

There was a meeting at the Embassy to-day, to discuss 
ways and means of defense among the Americans if any- 
thing happens in the city. Von Hintze and von Papen 
have tried to do some organizing among their colony. 
The Japanese have long since had carte blanche from the 
government in the way of ammunition and marines from 
their ships at Manzanillo. Sir Christopher, some time ago, 
sent Lieutenant Strawbensie up from Vera Cruz, to teach 
the English colony a few rudiments — and the French 
have also had a naval officer here for several weeks. 

Last night, it appears, the boat taking 480,000 pesos 
to the north coast to pay the troops was captured by 

* Now the club is stripped of its sumptuous fittings and historic pic- 
tures and library, and is a working-man's home {casa de obreros) under 
the philanthropic and broad-minded Constitucionalisias, The beautiful 
old patio is used for sibling horses. 

*S5 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

rebels. "Juan and Jose" always come out at the little 
end of the horn. There are immense geographical dif- 
ficulties in the way of transporting money to the army 
in the north, over mountain chains and deserts, besides the 
strategic difficulty of getting it to the proper place 
without the rebels or bandits seizing it. After that, 
there is the further possibility of the officers putting it in 
their own pockets. What wonder that ''Juan and Jos6'* 
sell their rifles and ammunition or go over to the rebels, 
where looting is permitted and encouraged? They are 
always hungry, no matter what are the intentions and 
desires of the central government. 

Telegrams from the north are very contradictory, and 
generally unfavorable to the government. The foreign 
correspondents were warned this morning, by a note 
from the Foreign Office (and it was to be the last warn- 
ing), that they were not to send out false reports favor- 
able to the rebels and redounding to the injviry of both 
foreigners and Federals. They will get the famous 
''33" appHed to them, if they don't "walk Spanish." 
No joking here now; much depends, psychologically, if 
not actually, on the issues at Torreon. 

The clever editor of the Mexican Herald remarks, 
apropos of the Presidential message of last week: "Our 
idea of a smart thing for Carranza to do woidd be to 
read President Huerta's message to Villa. The array of 
things a President has to worry about, besides war and 
confiscation, are enough to remove the glamour." 

All Villa knows about revenue is embodied in the 
word loot. Even in this fertile land, where every moun- 
tain is oozing with gold, silver, and copper, and every 
seed committed to the earth is ready to spring up a 
hundredfold, he who neglects to plant and dig can't 
reap or garner. The whole north is one vast devasta- 
tion and invitation to the specters of f amine- 

2S6 



XX 



Good Friday — Mexican toys with symbolic sounds — "The Tampico 
incident" — Sabado de Gloria and Easter — An international photo- 
graph — The last reception at Chapul tepee. 

Viernes Santo Afternoon. 

AS I came home from church this morning the sacred 
day seemed to be a day of noise. The Indians were 
busy in their booths along the Alameda. Thousands of 
small, wooden carts are bought by thousands of small 
boys and girls; metracas, they are called, and so con- 
structed that, in addition to the usual noise, every revo- 
lution of the wheels makes a sound like the bjreaking of 
wood. This noise is supposed to typify the breaking of 
the bones of Judas. There are also appalling tin objects, 
like nutmeg-graters, that revolve on sticks, with the 
same symbolic sound. Little boys and girls outside the 
churches sell pious leaflets, crying in their shrill voices, 
''Las siete palabras de nuestro Senor Jesus ChristOy** or 
''El pesame de nuestra Senora Madre de Dios^ 

Something is brewing here, and it was with a heart 
somewhat perturbed by earthly happenings that I again 
went to the cathedral, at three o'clock. At the doors 
the little venders of the holy words were as insistent as 
ever. Thousands were filing in and out, going up with 
whatever burden of babe or bundle they happened to be 
carrying, to kiss the great cross laid on the steps of the 
high altar. I bethought me of last Good Friday in 
Rome, and of hearing Father Benson preach the "Three 
Hours" at San Sylvestro. 

257 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

April loth. Good Friday Night. 

Events succeed each other in kaleidoscopic fashion in 
Latin America, but I have, at last, a moment in which 
to tell you of the especial turn to-day. 

This morning N. was informed, through the Foreign 
Office, of something referred to as "the Tampico inci- 
dent." The Foreign Office was decidedly in the air about 
it. On returning home, at one o'clock, however, N. 
found a very definite telegram from Admiral Fletcher, 
and there is stu'e to be trouble. * * * 

N. took the penciled reading and dashed off to find 
Huerta. Potential war Hes in any incident here. He was 
away all the afternoon, hunting Huerta, but only found 
him at six o'clock. Huerta's written answer wa,s in the 
usual clever, Latin-American manner; his verbal re- 
marks on the subject to a foreigner were«beyond editing. 
The newspaper men were coming in, all the afternoon, 
and were disappointed not to find the "source of light 
and heat." 

:): 4: ^ 4: 4t 4c 9ii 

The final touch was put on the nerves of everybody 
by Elim's dragging his metraca about the halls. With 
howls of protestation he was separated from it. 

N. said he might possibly have arranged the matter 
except for the little Sub-Secretary, who had never met the 
President before, and who wanted, all during the inter- 
view, to prove he was very much of a man. Portillo y 
Rojas is away for the Easter holidays. At the Presi- 
dent's door a big, sullen Indian told N. he could not see 
the President, who was taking a siesta. As N. could not 
entirely follow the injunction about sleeping dogs, he 
compromised on a little tour, returning to find the 
President about to get into his motor. He asked N. 
to come with him, which N. did, sitting by his side, the 

258 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

secretary facing them on the strapontin. N. told the 
President he had something "very delicate" ("wn asunto 
muy delicado'') to speak to him about. The President 
made one of his waving gestures, and the ball opened. 
Huerta said he would apologize for ''the Tampico 
incident." N. indicated that his government would 
not consider that sufficient. Huerta asked, squarely: 
*'What do you want?" N. answered, "The salutes," 
saying he might arrange the matter quietly, giving 
the salutes some morning at sunrise, for instance. The 
President began to ponder the matter; whereupon the 
secretary, thinking his chance had come, broke in upon 
the silence with the remark that it would be derogatory 
to the national honor to salute, and that there was no 
guarantee that the salutes would be returned, that 
Mexico's sovereignty was in question, and the like. 
The President immediately stiffened up. — So can a no- 
body turn a nation's destinies! 

There is talk of providing a neutral zone in Tampico 
during the fighting. Every time an oil-tank is damaged, 
not only are several himdred thousand dollars gone, but 
there is immense danger of the oil flowing down the river 
and being set fire to. You can imagine the result to the 
shipping in the harbor, as well as to the town. 

It is now ten o'clock; the answer of Huerta has been 
sent off to the State Department and to Admiral Fletcher. 
Many newspaper men have interviewed Nelson, and he 
has gone up-stairs. These days of delicate negotiations — 
when a word too much or a word too little would make 
trouble — are wearying, to say the least. But so is fame 
made. * * * It seemed to me the only thing I didn't do 
to-day was to buy an imitation devil, also representing 
Judas, of which thousands in clay, in cardboard, in every 
conceivable form, are offered on every street corner. 

259 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Sabado de Gloria. 

To-day the papier-macM "Judases" were burned, on 
the street corners, to the great joy of children and 
adults, while cannon and torpedoes and firecrackers of 
all kinds made things rather noisy. I remembered again 
the old Roman days, and the quiet of Holy Saturday, 
** hidden in the tomb with Christ." 

There is going to be a lot of trouble about the Tampico 
incident. The ''Old Man" is recalcitrant and feels that 
the public apology by General Zaragoza should be 
sufficient. What we will do can only be surmised. 
Recently, one of the newspapers had a cartoon of Mr. 
Bryan speaking to ''Mexico." Under the picture was 
this pleasing caption, "I may say, I am most annoyed; 
and if you do not immediately reform, I hesitate to say 
what I may not be inclined to decide, perhaps!" 

Easter Sunday Morning. 

A heavenly sky looks down on the Resurrection morn, 
and it is, indeed, the resurrection of a good many Mexi- 
cans who, these last days, have spilled their life's blood 
for reasons unknown to them. The Sub-Secretary for 
Foreign Affairs spent the night hour from two to three 
with Nelson. The Mexican government does not want 
to salute the flag, though, of course, it will have to yield 
to our demand. Fighting continues at Tampico. The 
American war-ships are crowded with unfortunate ref- 
ugees, and there is increasing animosity against the 
Americans. General Zaragoza has expressed official re- 
gret at the arrest, but the salute to the flag has been 
postponed. 

Nelson has already been twice to the Foreign Office. 
He told the sub-secretary to tell the President the salute 
must be given. He has looked up precedents in the 
international-law books at the Embassy, to soothe their 

260 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

feelings, their cultura and bizarria. If the sub-secretary 
says that Huerta still persists in refusing, N. is going 
to try a personal appeal. It is a salute or intervention, 
I suppose. 

It appears that Mr. Bryan has said he can see no 
reason why the Mexican government should not ''cheer- 
fully salute," and ''that doubtless the church holidays 
have interfered with the transaction of business." Is it 
the end, or not? Quien sahef 

April 1 2th. 5 p.m. 
A written reply, very clever indeed, was received at 
one o'clock, refusing categorically to give the desired, 
or rather, demanded^ salute of twenty-one guns, at Tam- 
pico. The Mexicans say that the whaleboat landed at 
a part of the town then in the military zone, and with- 
out permission; that fighting was going on at the time; 
that the city was tinder martial law. The men had been 
sent in to get gasoline for the ship with the paymaster 
(usually it is only a petty officer who accompanies the 
men on such errands). The reply ends with an acuerdo 
especial (especial message) from Huerta to the effect that 
he could not comply with the United States' demands 
without wounding Mexico's national honor and dignity 
and infringing on her sovereignty, which he is ready to 
defend at all times and in all ways. Now what are we 
going to do? The clerks have been worldng like mad 
all day, and endless cables have gone out of the Embassy. 
Nelson says he will not go to Huerta, though when we 
passed Chapultepec restaurant, coming from the Re- 
forma Club near by, where we had been lunching, he 
saw the President's motor, and got out of our car and 
strolled through the restaurant, to give Huerta a chance 
to speak, if he was so minded, without seeking him 
out. However, Huerta was dining with the officers of 
the rural guard, and Nelson left immediately. Huerta 
i8 261 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

had been at the automobile races all the morning, we, 
in our Anglo-Saxon preoccupation, having, of course, for- 
gotten about them. The situation is again very tense; 
again war and destruction loom up — a specter to us, as 
well as to this strange Indian republic that we are trying 
to mold to our image and likeness. 

Nelson has told all newspaper men that he gives no 
information to any one; that he is a "dry spring," and 
that they must cable to their home offices for news. As, 
since nine- thirty, there has been the strictest censorship, 
they won't get or give much. Even the Embassy cables 
were delayed tmtil Nelson went to the office and made 
his arrangements. 

The white pony and the Mexican saddle that the 
President has asked to present to Elim, fortunately, have 
not appeared. You can imagine the juicy dish of new^s 
that gift would make at home! Refusal or acceptance 
would be equally delicate. 

April 13th. Evening. 

No news has come. I wonder what they did in Tam- 
pico at six o'clock. A very insistent note has come from 
the Foreign Office, recounting, I think for the first time, 
Mexico's many grievances against us — troubles caused 
by the raising of the embargo and the consequent 
suppl3dng of arms to the rebels; claiming the Federals' 
right to conduct the fight at Tampico any way they see 
fit; saying that they will tolerate no interference in their 
national affairs, etc. We, having armed the rebels, can 
hardly take exception to the Federals' defending them- 
selves. They insist that the whaleboat of the Dolphin 
was on forbidden territory when the men were arrested, 
but the statement is not official. Washington is to-day 
either finding a way out of the affair or looking into the 
grim, cold eyes of intervention. 

I had an Easter-egg hunt in the garden, for Elim, at 

262 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

which nine little darlings assisted. Then we had tea, 
with many flashes of Spanish wit. All the foreign children 
here prefer to speak Spanish. The mothers and other 
ladies left at six, after which the French military attache y 
de Bertier, and LetelHer, came in, and we talked Mexi- 
cana till eight. De Bertier said this was the second most 
interesting situation he had ever watched. The first was 
the beginning of the French power in Morocco — that 
clear flame of French civilization, at first trembling and 
imcertain, in the deserts and mountains of North Africa, 
but ever increasing, carried to the Arabs, a "race pure,'* 
by a handful of brave and dashing soldiers, also of a 
"race pure." He finds the problem much more com- 
plicated in Mexico, where a salade of races is involved. 

April 14th. 2 P.M. 

This morning, like so many mornings here, had its own 
special color. Nelson had not seen Huerta since the 
interview on Friday night, about the saluting of the 
flag. We drove out to Chapultepec, where, before the 
restaurant steps, the usual petit lever was being held — • 
generals. Cabinet Ministers, and other officials. Nelson 
went over to the President, while the motor, with 
Clarence Hay and myself in it, retreated out of the blaz- 
ing sun under the shade of some convenient and beauti- 
ful ahuahuetes. From afar we saw the President ^ get out 
of his motor and Nelson go up to him; then both walked 
up the broad stairs of the restaurant. In a few minutes 
Ramon Corona, now chief of staff, walked quickly over 
to our motor. 

"I come from the President to ask you to go to the 

'fiesta militar in the Pereda cuartel,'' he said. The 

President took Nelson in his motor, I following in ours, 

with Corona. Hay vanished from the somewhat com- 

pHcated situation. I got to the barracks to find that we 

263 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 



were the only foreigners, and I the only lady on the 
raised dais (where generals and Cabinet Ministers were 
even thicker than at Chapultepec), to watch the various 
exercises the well-trained gendarme corps gave for the 
President. They are for the moment without horses, the 
lack of which is a great problem here. We watched the 
various steps, drills, and exercises for a couple of hours 
with great interest, I sitting between Corona and charm- 
ing young Eduardo Iturbide, the present governor of the 
Federal district. It is wonderful what those Indians 
did, having been gathered in only 'during the last month. 
I told one or two little stories of things I had seen in 
Berlin and Rome. You remember how the raw recruits 
used to pass Alsenstrasse on the way to those big 
barracks, just over the Spree — great, hulking, awk- 
ward, ignorant peasants who after six weeks could 
stand straight, look an officer in the eye, and answer 
**Yes" or '*No" to a question. The Italian story 
was one once told me by a lieutenant who had been 
drilling some recruits back of the Pamfili-Doria Villa. 
After several weeks' instruction, he asked a man, 
**Who lives over there?" pointing to the Vatican. 
**I don't know," was the answer. He called another 
man, who responded, promptly, "The Pope." The of- 
ficer, much encouraged, asked further, ''What is his] 
name?" "Victor Emmanuele," was the unhappy re* 
sponse. This last story especially appealed to the offi-| 
cers. They told me their greatest difficulty is to get any' 
kind of mental concentration from the Indians. 

The exercises finally came to an end, with the Police; 
Band — one of the finest I have ever heard — playing the ' 
Waltz tune of "Bachimba," composed in honor of Hu- 
erta's great victory when fighting for Madero against 
Orozco. Huerta gave me his arm and we went in to an 
elaborate collation — champagne, cold pat^s^ and sweets] 

264 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

— I sitting on the President's right. Huerta then made 
a speech that seemed as if it might have come from the 
lips of Emperor William, on the necessity of discipline, 
and the great results therefrom to the country. He said 
that when the country was pacified the almost countless 
thousands of the army would, he hoped, return to the 
fields, the mines, the factories, stronger and better able to 
fight the battle of life for having been trained to obedi- 
ence, concentration, and understanding. When the speech 
was over, and all the healths had been drunk (mine com- 
ing first!), the President gave the sign and I turned to 
leave. We were standing in the middle of the flower- 
laden horseshoe table, and I moved to go out by the 
side I had come in. He stopped me. 

*'No, seiiora," he said, ''never take the road back — 
always onward. Adelante.'' 

Repeating, ''Adelante/' I took the indicated way. 
As we went down the steps and into the patio we found 
four cameras ready, about three yards in front of us! 
I felt that Huerta was rather surprised, and I myself 
stiffened up a bit, but — what could "a perfect lady" do? 
It was not the moment for me to flinch, so we stood there 
and let them do their worst. I could not show him the 
discourtesy of refusing to be photographed — but here, 
on the edge of war, it was a curious situation for us 
both. Well, the censura can sometimes be a friend; 
the photograph won't be in every newspaper in the States 
to-morrow. If, in a few days, diplomatic relations are 
broken off, that will be an historic photograph. 

The Old Man is always delightful in his courtesy and 
tact. As for his international attitude, it has been flaw- 
less. On all occasions where there has been any mistake 
made it has been made by others, not by him. His 
national political attitude has perhaps left "much to be 
desired," though I scarcely feel like criticizing him in 

265 



I 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

any way. He has held up, desperately and determinedly, 
the tattered fabric of this state and stands before the 
world without a single international obligation. Who 
has done anything for him? Betrayed at home and 
neglected or handicapped abroad, he bears this whole 
republic on his shoulders. 

5.JO P.M. 

I am trembling with excitement. On getting out of 
the motor, I met Hyde, of the Herald. He has just had 
a telegram (the real sense made clear by reading every 
other word — thus outwitting the censor) that the whole 
North Atlantic fleet was being rushed to the Gulf, and 
that a thousand marines were being shipped from Pensa- 
cola. Hyde says that Huerta said to-day, "Is it a ca- 
lamity? No, it is the best thing that could happen 
to us!" 

I hear Hohler*s voice in the anteroom. * * * 

April 14th. 6.30 P.M. 

Bumside and Courts came in just after Hohler, and 
the inevitable powwow on the situation followed. Burn- 
side says we all have the Mexico City point of view, and 
perhaps we have. Hohler was very much annoyed at a 
hasty pencil scrawl just received from the north, in- 
forming him that Villa had confiscated many car-loads of 
British cotton and that many cruelties to Spaniards had 
been committed in connection with it. Certainly there 
is not much "mine and thine," in the Constitutionalist 
territory, and not much protection. Here property and 
life are respected. 

There is a report that Huerta wants to send the "Tam- 
pico incident" to The Hague for settlement. He in- 
sists that he was in the right about the matter, and that 
any impartial tribunal would give him justice. Be that 
as it may, we know he must give the salutes. It only 

266 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

remains for him to find the way. Cherchez la formule, if 
not la femme. 

April 15th. 

Another day, full to exhaustion, and winding up with 
the reception at Chapultepec. There, while the Presi- 
dent and N. were conferring, we, the sixty or seventy 
guests — Mexicans, plenipotentiaries, officials, civil and 
military — waited from six o'clock until long after seven 
to go in to tea, or "lunch," as they call it here. Beyond 
occasional glances at the closed doors, no impatience was 
manifested. All know these are the gravest and most 
dehcate negotiations. We whiled away the time on the 
palm-banked terrace, listening to the music of a band of 
ruraleSy who made a picturesque mass in their orange- 
colored clothes embroidered in silver, with neckties so 
scarlet that they were almost vermilion, and great, peak- 
ed, white felt hats, with a heavy cord around the crown 
of the same color as the flaming cravats. They sat in 
one corner of the great terrace, playing their national 
music most beautifully — dances full of swing, or melan- 
choly and sensuous airs of the people, on zithers, mando- 
lins, guitars, harps, and some strange, small, gourd-Hke 
instruments played as one would play on a mandolin. 

At last the President and N. came in, looking inscru- 
table. No time to ask results now. The President gave 
his arm to me, and he then wanted N. to take in Madame 
Huerta; but the chef du protocol headed off this rather 
too-close co-operation, saying that was the place 
of the Russian minister. I talked to Huerta to the Hmit 
of my Spanish, with pacific intent, but he kept glancing 
about in a restless way. I even quoted him that line of 
Santa Teresa, ''La paciencia todo lo alcanza.'^ He 
asked me, abruptly, what I thought of his international 
attitude, and before I could reply to this somewhat 
difficult question he fortimately answered it himself. 

267 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

*'Up to now," he said, "I have committed no faults, I 
think, in my foreign policy; and as for patience, I am 
made of it." He added, *'I keep my mouth shut." 
I changed the subject, too near home for comfort, by 
telHng him that his speech of yesterday, to the troops, 
might have been made by the Emperor of Germany. 
I thought that would send his mind somewhat afield; 
you know he loves Napoleon, and would be willing to 
include the Kaiser. He brightened up and thanked me 
for the compliment, in the way any man of the world 
might have done. ... It is a curious situation. I have 
all the time a sickening sensation that we are destroying 
these people and that there is no way out. We seem to 
have taken advantage of their every distress. 

We hurried away at eight o'clock, so that N. might 
see Courts at the station, and give him the summary of 
his conversation, to be repeated to Admiral Fletcher. 
It was that Huerta would be willing to give the salutes 
if he could trust us to keep our word about returning 
them. As he certainly has no special reason for any 
faith in our benevolence, he finally stipulated that the 
twenty-one salutes be fired simultaneously. N. said he 
was very earnest and positive during the first part of the 
conversation, but that toward the end he seemed more 
amenable. Heaven alone knows how it will all end. 
One thing is certain — it is on the lap of the gods and of 
Huerta, and the issue is unknown to the rest of us.* 

I got home from the station to find Mrs. Bumside 
in the drawing-room, ready to spend the evening. The 
captain was down-stairs, with what he afterward char- 
acterized as ''blankety blanks" (willing, but unmechani- 
cal civilians), who were helping him to set up the rapid- 
firing guns, otherwise known as the "doves of peace." 
Mrs. Biunside tried to persuade me to go to Vera Cruz 
to-morrow, when she departs, but I couldn't, in con- 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

science, cause a probably unnecessary stampede of people 
from their comfortable homes. If I had taken advan- 
tage of the various opportunities held out to flee, I would 
have had, in common with many others, an uncomfort- 
able winter d cheval between Mexico City and the "Villa 
Rica de la Vera Cruz.'* 

I don't know what answer has been made to the 
Hague proposition, if any, by Washington; but it must 
have staggered Mr. Bryan and caused him to blink. 
The Hague is one of the dearest children of his heart, and 
universal peace has ever been a beloved and fruitful 
source of eloquence. When it confronts him at this spe- 
cial moment, can he do otherwise than take it to his 
bosom? 

April J 6th, 
This morning things seemed very bad. A curious tel- 
egram came from Mr. Bryan, to be given to the press 
for its private information, not yet for publication, say- 
ing that the Tampico incident was quite in the back- 
ground, but reciting two recent and heinous crimes of 
Mexico. First, a cable for the Embassy was held over by 
a too-zealous partisan of the censura at the cable-office. 
N. arranged that matter in two minutes, over the tel- 
ephone, when it was brought to the attention of the 
cable authorities. Hohler happened, for Mexico's good, 
to be with N. at the time. The incident was less than 
nothing, until mentioned in the open cable from Wash- 
ington. The other incident, also well enough known, 
happened a short time ago in Vera Cruz, where another 
too-zealous official arrested an orderly in uniform, carry- 
ing the mails between the ships and the Vera Cruz post- 
office. That matter was dismissed after an apology, a 
nominal punishment of the offending official, and the 
immediate release of the carrier. Admiral Fletcher at- 
t;ached no importance to the affair, 

z6<^ 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

I have not cited the incidents in order. The telegram 
for the press, in referring to the cable incident, begins, 
*'far more serious is the withholding by the censor of a 
cable addressed to the charge d'affaires of the United 
States." It also points out that no like incidents have 
happened to the representatives of other nations in Mex- 
ico, and that we must protect our national dignity— to 
which I respond with all my heart. But when we do 
intervene here — ^which I know we must — ^let it be for 
some vital case of blood and destruction. The day 
Huerta has a stroke of apoplexy, gets a knife in his back, 
or is killed by a firing-squad, we must come in, for 
anarchy will reign. He may not be the best man in the 
world, and clever and even profound thoughts of one 
day are counterbalanced by ineptitudes of the next; 
but he does seem to be the only man in Mexico who can 
and will keep order in the provinces under his control, 
especially now that the best and most conservative el- 
ements are associated with the task — Rincon Gaillardo, 
Iturbide, Garcia Pimentel, and many others. 

Not a word of all the happenings of the past few days 
has appeared in any newspaper in Mexico. The great 
potentialities are hidden, like a smoldering, unsus- 
pected fire. There is a throbbing, an unrest — but the 
great public doesn't yet know whence it comes. 
I think if N. has any luck in his pacific endeavors he 
ought to have the Nobel prize — though I understand 
his chef direct has an eye on that. 

April J7th, 

Last night N. was with the Minister for Foreign Affairs 
for several hours. They finally tracked Huerta to his 
house. The orderly said he had gone to bed, but the 
Minister sent in his card. After a wait of half an hour 
he sent in another. Huerta had forgotten that he was 
waiting. He received him in bed, and in the midst of the 

270 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

conversation asked him, as he afterward told N., what 
he thought about his pajamas, adding, with a grin, that 
they were Japanese. Nelson did not go in. He had 
spent several hours with the President at various times 
during the day, and did not want to see him about pain- 
ful and irritating matters at such a late hour, when he 
and the President were worn out. 

In thinking over Huerta's remark, a few days ago, 
about the demonstrations of our fleet not being a calam- 
ity, I believe he means that this is, after all, the best way 
of consolidating the Federal troops. We may stiffen them 
to service of their country against a common enemy — 
but, oh, the graft ! Oh, the dishonesty and self-seeking 
that animate many of the hearts beating under those 
uniforms! They sell anything and everything to the 
highest bidder, from automobile tires and mimitions of 
war, to their own persons. As for punishing the vari- 
ous officers that are guilty, it seems very difficult; 
court-martials would mean the decamping to the rebels 
of many officers, high and low. So when we demand 
punishment of this or that official, the **01d Man" is 
placed between the devil and the deep sea. It is a posi- 
tion he should now be accustomed to, however. On 
spies or on those conspiring against the government he 
is relentless. That all political colors recognize, and they 
do not hold it against him. Apropos of going over to the 
rebels, the Mazatlan incident of last Christmas (or Jan- 
uary first) is a case in point. The officers on the gun- 
boat Tampico in the harbor had a scandalous debauch, 
with stabbings, etc. They were to be court-martialed, 
but they got out of that difficulty by going over, boat 
and all, to the Constitutionalists at Topolobampo! 



XXI 



Mr. Bryan declines the kindly offices of The Hague — More Americans 
leave Mexico City — Lieutenant Rowan arrives — Guarding the Em- 
bassy — Elim keeps within call. 

April I7ih, 

WASHINGTON will not take The Hague into con- 
sideration, and will not fire simultaneous salutes, 
which, of course, it would be childish for us to do, so the 
question is narrowed down to one point : — the Mexicans 
must salute our flag, and we engage ourselves to answer 
it. Many precedents for this are being cited by foreigners 
here. For instance, the celebrated case of the French 
consul in San Francisco, who was jailed for a few hours 
through a mistake. We made all reparation and en- 
gaged ourselves to fire twenty-one salutes to the first 
French ship that came into the harbor. Kanya tells me 
of an incident that transpired when he was charge d'af- 
Jaires at Cettinje, that was regulated by an exchange of 
salutes between the contending parties, in Antivari 
harbor. 

I have had calls all afternoon — German, Belgian, 
Austrian, and Italian colleagues, Marie Simon, de Soto 
(looking more like a handsome contemporary of Ve- 
lasquez than ever) — all, of course, talking about la 
situacion. Now I am waiting dinner for Nelson, who 
has been out since four o'clock, trying to commimicate 
the very courteous, but firm, answer of Washington 
pited above, 

272 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Later. 

N. came in for dinner as the Bumsides, d'Antin, and 
McKenna were sitting with me at table. One of the 
numerous' telephone calls proved to be from the Minister 
for Foreign Affairs, saying that he was leaving the Minis- 
terio, and woxild be immediately at the Embassy. I had 
cognac and cigarettes placed in the drawing-room, and 
then everybody got out of the way. They are both in 
there now — 9.45 — and the fate of Mexico hangs in the 
balance, in that pleasant, high-ceilinged salon of mine, 
with the big vases of long-stemmed pink geraniums, and 
books, and photographs, and bibelots, and its deep, 
comfortable green leather chairs and sofa. I am writing 
this in one of the smaller rooms, with newspaper men 
running in and out, and the telephone ringing. To the 
journalistic demands Nelson has told the clerks to say 
"there is no change," which, in spite of my excitement, 
or perhaps because of it, reminds me of the story re- 
counted of a Russian Ambassador to London. His wife 
had the bad taste to die at the time of the great visit of 
the Czar to Queen Victoria. The Ambassador, who was 
above everything a diplomat, had the body put on ice in 
the cellar of the Embassy, and to all inquiries as to his 
wife's health he replied, suavely: "Thank you; madame 
is in the same condition.'* 

11.30. 

Back in the drawing-room, with the historic cognac, 
the equally historic cigarette ash, and the drawn-up 
chairs as mute witnesses that something has taken 
place. What will come of it all? Rocking the ship of 
state is an exciting business. I don't understand Huerta's 
attitude, unless he is whipped by the rebels, and knows 
it, and prefers defeat at the hands of a nobler foe. 

Portillo y Rojas said the President felt that he had done 
all that he was called on to do as chief of the nation to 

273 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

expiate the Tampico incidents; that the sailors were 
put at liberty immediately, with an apology given by 
the jefe de la plaza— -Genevel Moreles Zaragoza — to 
Admiral Mayo; that since then the President himself 
had manifested regret and had ordered an investigation 
to punish the guilty party ; that any nation in the world 
would have been satisfied by these proceedings, and that 
furthermore he agreed that the Mexican cannon might sa- 
lute simultaneously with those of the Americans, which 
would fully show the good-will on both sides, and also 
let the neighboring peoples witness the happy termina- 
tion of a difficulty that had never been serious. There is 
a Spanish proverb about having more fins than a fish, 
which certainly applies to this sauve and clever old 
Indian. He further sent expressions of great friendship 
for Nelson by the Minister, but said he couldn't do this 
thing even for him, much as he desired to. 

A moment ago a little blond-headed, blue-robed, 
sleepy angel appeared on the scene to ask when I was 
coming up-stairs. Perhaps, like the rest of us, Elim 
feels the disturbing electric currents in the air. He is 
now lying on the sofa, wrestling with sleep. He had been 
put to bed some hours before, rather unhappily. He 
kept pressing close to my dressing-table as I was getting 
ready for dinner, fingered every article on it, and 
asked me countless questions. These ranged from, 
"What does God eat?" to, ''Why don't women wear sus-1 
penders?" until I was frantic and had him removed in] 
tears. 

There are fears that the Zapatistas will arrive in the| 
city; but they are nothing compared to other fears] 
that stalk the town to-night. During the French in- 
tervention many people remained in Mexico City,! 
reached a ripe old age, and died in their beds; which! 
every one seems anxious to do, though I have never feltj 

274 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

that dying in one's bed is all it is cracked up to be. 
''Bury me where I fall., Every^where will be heard the 
judgment call." I don't much care when or where or how 
it comes. 

April i8th. 4.30 p.m. 

No news as yet from Washington. I have just re- 
turned after lunching at the Russian minister's. Every- 
thing was very soigfi^, as it always is, with bUnis and 
delicious caviar and all sorts of good things. I feel as 
if I had eaten the Legation instead of at it. One has 
so little appetite at eight thousand feet above sea-level. 
There were von Hintze, Kanya, Marie Simon, in one of 
her smart Drecoll dresses, and myself. They all think 
the situation in the south is very bad, but I am no more 
to be scared by the cry of Zapatistas, having heard it 
ever since I first put foot in Mexico. 

The Mexican Herald remarks this morning (dealing 
with the situation in glittering generalities) that "When 
each party to an agreement gets the idea that the other 
side is going to back down, it is certainly trying to the 
patience of an Irish peacemaker." 

One of the great dust-storms of the end of the dry 
season is on us to-day; all the color is gone out of the 
air, which has become opaque, gritty, non-refracting. 

6.30. 
Callers all the afternoon. Now McKenna comes in 
to say that the final word, en clair, from Washington 
has be;in received. It was given out at the White House 
at noon. "General Huerta is still insisting upon doing 
something less than has been demanded, and something 
less than could constitute an acknowledgment that his 
representatives were entirely in the wrong in the indig- 
nities they have put upon the United States. The 
President has determined that if General Huerta has 

27s 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

not yielded by six o'clock on Sunday afternoon, he 
will take the matter to Congress on Monday." 

:ic 4( * * 4: * * 

It makes me sick with dread to think of the probable 
fate of Americans in the desert spaces and the mountain 
fastnesses of Mexico. Some one has blundered, some- 
where, somehow, that we should come in to give the 
coup de grdce to this distracted nation, who yet clings, 
and rightly, to those tattered shreds of sovereignty we 
have left her. The foreign Powers think we are playing 
the most cold-blooded, most cruel game of "grab "^ in all 
history. 

April 1 8th. lo p.m. 

Things do move. I came down from Aunt Laura's room 
to find Lieutenant Rowan in the hall, just off the train 
from Vera Cruz, after a delayed, dusty trip. You can im- 
agine he got a warm welcome. Nelson came in just then, 
and a few minutes later, as we were still standing in the 
front hall, Portillo y Rojas appeared at the door, looking, 
we instantly thought, much happier. He was wearing his 
green, gold-embroidered sash, the insignia of military 
rank that Huerta has imposed rather than bestowed on 
all Cabinet officers, who are thus under military disci- 
pline and obedience to him as generalissimo. They ob- 
jected to wearing full military uniform, compromising 
on the sash. Rojas also wore a smile — I don't know 
whether it was for me or for the situation. He had come 
to tell Nelson that the salutes would be given on his, 
N.'s, written word of honor that they would be returned. 
He has been an hour and a half in Nelson's private room 
drawing up a document — a protocol {il y va de sa propre 
Ute) — and he is doing it with the painstaking care of a 
man who has everything at stal<:e. Nelson himself is 
pretty foxy, and has to look out for his skin. Well, 
*' all's well that ends well." If we get through this the 

276 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

next incident will mean war. I hope at Washington 
they will appreciate some of the difficulties N. has to 
meet, and act accordingly. However, "call no man 
happy until his death." I hear the click of the big iron 
gate swinging to after the exit of Lopez Portillo y Rojas. 
I am fairly tired out and shall now proceed to draw the 
drapery of my couch about me and lie down — I hope to 
pleasanter dreams than those of last night. How glad 
I am that I haven't confided my son or my jewels 
to various terror-stricken acquaintances who have le- 
vanted two hundred and fifty miles east and eight thou- 
sand feet down. It hasn't come yet ; all, after everything 
is said and done, hangs on the life of that astute and pa- 
tient old Cori Indian, whose years of our Lord are fifty- 
nine, and who, whatever his sins, were they blacker 
than night, is legally President of Mexico. Chase 
legality out of Latin America and where are you? After 
him anarchy, chaos, and finally intervention — the biggest 
police job ever undertaken in the Western Hemisphere, 
however one may feel like belittling it from a military 
standpoint. I have thought all these days of the prob- 
able head-lines of the newspapers and hoped my precious 
mother was not worrying about her distant ones. Good 
night, and then again good night. ** God's in His heaven; 
all's well with us.'* 

April igth. 11.30 p.m. 

The last of the continuous line of plenipotentiaries, 
charges d' affaires, railroad men, laymen of all kinds, have 
gone. Washington refused Nelson's signature to the 
protocol drawn up by Portillo y Rojas and sent for ap- 
proval. Huerta then refused categorically to give the 
salutes. So it is intervention. At 4.30 I went down- 
stairs for tea, as usual, to find Adatchi and Eyguesparsse 
there. Eyguesparsse, as you know, married the sister 
of General Rincon Gaillardo. He says that Huerta 
19 m 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

will resist to the end; his esprit militaire is entirely op- 
posed to the esprit universitaire of Wilson. "lis ne pour- 
ront jamais se comprendre.'" Huerta said to Rincon 
Gaillardo that intervention would be a work of five years, 
and productive of the greatest trouble to the United 
States. Huerta's stand is incroyahle, unglauhlich unbe- 
lievable, incredibile — what you will. Each representative 
who called exclaimed the same thing in his special tongue 
as he greeted me. Hohler was very qmet, and really very 
sad at the happenings. He has been a faithful friend 
through everything. Sir Lionel gets here to-morrow or 
the next day. Kanya, Letellier, and Clarence Hay 
stayed for dinner. Hohler came back again in the eve- 
ning, also von Hintze, who does not think the war vote 
will go with a rush through Congress to-morrow, and 
quotes the case of Polk. He said it took three months 
for him to persuade Congress to vote the money and 
men for the 1846 war. I can't verify this. He and 
von Papen left at eleven. Nelson, Rowan, and I came 
up-stairs, all a bit fagged. To-morrow will be a full day. 
I long ago promised the American women here that if 
and when I thought the break was impending I would 
let them know. I think it has steadied their situation 
here that I haven't "lit out" from time to time. But 
what of the hundreds — no, thousands — all over this fair 
land whose possible fate is scarcely to be looked in the 
face ? The ' ' Old Man ' ' has some idea other than despair 
and fatigue or impatience. He is working on a plan, 
probably hoping for a chance to play his trump card — 
the unification of all Mexicans to repel the invaders, — 
which would take the trick anywhere but in Mexico. 
We are going to get some more gendarmes for the Em- 
bassy. I feel very calm and deeply interested. It is a 
big moment, and Nelson has been unremitting in his en- 
deavors. 

278 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

The Foreign Office here has given the press a state- 
ment of two thousand words to-night, which will bring 
forth dismay and horror in the morning. I can't feel 
the personal danger of the situation. I am sorry dear Dr. 
Ryan is away. I sent him yesterday, in care of the 
consul at Saltillo, the prearranged word, "loi," which 
meant that, whenever, wherever, he got it, he was to re- 
turn immediately. At last hearing, the more prudent 
von Papen, who decided to return to Mexico City, saw 
him start from Saltillo with his medical supplies and 
four mules, to try to get to Torreon over a desert stretch. 

Von Papen, who had a most uncertain trip, says the 
only way to prevent the continual destruction of the 
railways is the establishment of the blockhouse system 
now planned by the Federal government. 

2.30 A.M. 

I can't sleep. National and personal potentialities 
are surging through my brain. Three stalwart railroad 
men came to the Embassy this evening. They brought 
reports of a plan for the massacre of Americans in the 
street to-night, but, strange and wonderful thing, a 
heavy rain is falling. It is my only experience of a mid- 
night rain in Mexico, except that which fell upon the 
mobs crying *' Death to Diaz," nearly three years ago. 
As all Mexicans hate to get wet, rain is as potent as 
shell-fire in clearing the streets, and I don't think there 
will be any trouble. Providence seems to keep an occa- 
sional unnatural shower on hand for Mexican crises. 

N.'s secret-service man reappeared upon the scene yes- 
terday, probably by the President's orders. This works 
two ways. It protects N., and incidentally proves to 
Huerta that N. is not intriguing against him. 

Had this war been induced by a great incident or for 
a great principle, I could bear it. But because the de- 
tails of a salute could not be decided upon we give our- 

279 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

selves, and inflict on others, the horrors of war. Mr. 
Bryan, so the Herald playfully remarks to-day, must 
have been surprised and disappointed. The "salutes 
were always so cheerfully returned at Chautauqua." 
It is no situation for amateurs. The longer I live the 
more respect I have for technical training. Every For- 
eign Office in Europe or any other continent keeps ex- 
perts for just such cases. I may become an interven- 
tionist, but after Huerta. He has proved himself vastly 
superior, in executive ability, to any man Mexico has 
produced since Diaz, in spite of his lack of balance and 
his surprising childishness, following upon strange sub- 
tleties, and he would have sold his soul to please the 
United States to the point of recognition. In that small, 
soft hand (doubtless bloody, too) were possibilities of a 
renewal of prosperity, after the dreams of Madero that 
he himself could never have clothed in reality. The re- 
association of the government with the conservative el- 
ements might have given some guarantee of peace, at 
least during Huerta's life, and any man's life is a long 
time in an Indian or Latin republic. 

April 20th. 10 a.m. 
We have awakened to a busy morning. At seven 
o'clock I began to telephone all those women. If any- 
thing happens, American women here will be thankful to 
be out of the way, and if the clouds blow over, they will 
only have done what they have done before, on several 
occasions — taken an unnecessary trip to Vera Cruz. 
Every American in town has either appeared at the Em- 
bassy or telephoned. Rowan remains with us, I hope. 
N. has telegraphed Admiral Fletcher that in view of the 
fact that he is alone with me at the Embassy, he begs not 
to have Rowan recalled. He is a dear fellow, and a great 
comfort and support. Anything his courage and good 

280 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

sense can keep from happening to us will not happen. 
A cable saying the matter will be laid before Congress 
this afternoon, instead of this morning, is just received. 
It gives us a breathing-space. But the telephone! The 
newspaper men ! The frightened Americans ! If we are 
obliged to go, Aunt Laura will stay with Mrs. MeHck, 
that friend of hers who has a handsome house just across 
the way. This relieves both her and me from anxiety. 
Americans are leaving in hosts — about five hundred per- 
sons, of all nationalities, leave to-day. 

I have just found on my table an envelope, ''From 
Elim to Mamma," A drawing inside represents a tomb- 
stone, and a star shines above it. It has a little bunch 
of fresh heliotrope fastened to it with a clipper, and the 
back is decorated with three crosses — a bit startling in 
these potential days! My heart is sick. Wednesday 
that great fleet arrives. What is it going to fight? It 
can't bombard Vera Cruz. The streets are full and the 
houses overflowing with fleeing non-combatants. It 
can't climb the mountains and protect the countless 
Americans getting their living in the fastnesses or in the 
valleys. Huerta's army is engaged in the death-struggle, 
in the north, against enemies of the government, armed 
with our munitions. Oh, the pity of it! 

And this city, this beautiful city, placed so wonder- 
fully, so symmetrically, on the globe, in the very center 
of the Western Hemisphere, a great continent to north 
and south, half-way between immense oceans, and lifted 
nearly eight thousand feet up to the heavens! Strange, 
symbolic correspondences between the seen and the un- 
seen constantly make themselves sensible, in some unex- 
plainable, magic way, while to the eye there are the man- 
ifold abundancies of mother earth, and this queer, dark, 
unchanging, and unchangeable race, whose psychological 
formula is unknown to us, inhabiting and using it all. 

281 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

April 20th. 7.50. 

This afternoon a whirlwind of rumors. First, that 
Congress had voted full power to Mr. Wilson, and one 
hundred and fifty million dollars; that Vera Cruz was be- 
ing bombarded ; that an attack is being planned against 
the Embassy to-night. There is, doubtless, nothing in 
this last, but N. telephoned to Eduardo Iturbide, always 
to be counted on, who is sending us one hundred mounted 
gendarmes. Captain Bumside is coming over here to 
sleep, and Rowan is with us, besides secret-service men 
and our own gendarmes. We have machine-guns, rifles, 
and quantities of ammunition. Many people were in for 
tea, when I am always to be seen. Madame Simon ex- 
pects to leave to-night for Vera Cruz, with her little boy 
and two maids. Clarence Hay and the Tozzers are go- 
ing, too, and about one hundred Germans. Von Hintze 
has sent away as many men, women, and children as he 
could induce to go. 

I had a curious experience with Adatchi. Suddenly, 
as he was sitting on the sofa, drinking his tea, von Papen 
and Ayguesparsse also in the room, I had a queer* 
psychic impression that he was not speaking of what he 
was thinking. I thought no more of it until he came over 
to a chair near me and said, with a curious. Oriental 
smile: 

"I had a talk with Portillo y Rojas, this afternoon. 
All is not yet lost. I have left my secretaries working on 
a long telegram to Tokio." 

I asked: **You mean there may be a possible arrange- 
ment?" 

And he said, * ' Yes, ' ' without enlarging on it. N. is out, 
calling on Iturbide to thank him for the guard, and 
Adatchi returns at nine-thirty. After he left, I told 
Ayguesparsse and von Papen what Adatchi had said. 

Ayguesparsse said, "His government wotdd naturally 

■ 282 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

favor the Mexicans.*' And we all wondered if the Japs 
could have worked out an arreglomiento. The Japanese 
mentality is, of course, absolutely foreign and irreconcil- 
able to ours, but it is not a negligible quantity. Aygue- 
sparsse has been very, very nice all these days, and I realize 
that behind that elegant silhouette there is a man of 
poise and kindness. Scarcely had he and von Papen 
departed when Hohler came in, hoping still for some 
arrangement. In this dark hour every one of the col- 
leagues has shown himself sincerely desirous of some 
issue being found. So you have a little of my day, full 
of a thousand other things. Many people have urged 
me to depart with them, but I am not nervous, not 
afraid- I am no trouble to N., perhaps even some help; 
and certainly dignity and all manner of fitness demand 
that I remain here with him till he gets his papers, if he 
gets them, and go off suitably at the time appointed by 
our country, or the coimtry to which we are accredited. 
My leaving now would mean to the Americans here that 
all was lost — even honor, I should add. Elim has not 
been far out of sight to-day. He was warned, and the 
gendarmes and everybody in the house warned, that he 
was not even to look out of the gate ; and, scenting pos- 
sible danger, he has not wandered far afield. He climbs 
into my chair, trots after me, looks in at the door — ^he 
has no intention of being out of call if suddenly wanted. 
His little senses are alert, and he knows that all is not 
quiet on the plateau. 

April 2 1 St. 

Instead of an attack, last night, everything was very 
peaceful. The automobile squad, composed of willing 
and capable Americans, circled continually about the 
Embassy, as well as the guard of one hundred moimted 
gendarmes Eduardo Iturbide sent us. A bare message 
came from Washington, very late, saying that Congress 

283 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

had voted the President full powers. The details we 
will doubtless get this morning. The Ypiranga, of the 
Hamburg-American Line, arrives at Vera Cruz to-day, 
with seventeen million rounds of ammunition for Huerta, 
which will greatly complicate matters. I do not know if 
we are going to seize it or not. If we do, it is an acte de 
guerre, and we will be out of here on short notice. If 
one were convinced of the good-will of Washington, this 
whole incident could be arranged in five minutes. The 
Mexican Foreign Office published this morning the full 
text of the documents on the Tampico incident. The 
officials feel there is nothing to conceal, and the diplo- 
mats and every American in town have by now lapped 
up with their coffee all the secrets of the situation. 



XXII 

Vera Cruz taken — ^Anti-iVmerican demonstrations — Refugees at the Em- 
bassy — A long line of visitors — A dramatic incident in the cable- 
office— Huerta makes his first and last call at the Embassy. 

April 2 1 St. 12.30. 

NELSON has been informed through Mexican sources 
— a most embarrassing way to get the news — that 
Vera Cruz was taken by our ships at eight o'clock this 
morning. (Cort6s landed on April 21st, if I am not mis- 
taken, though, of course, that isn*t much help to us now!) 
The line from Mexico City to Vera Cruz has been blown 
up. I am so worn out that I wouldn't mind seeing even 
the Zapatistas climbing in at the windows. Aunt Laura 
has been sitting by my bed, wearing that pale-blue 
woolen jacket you sent me. She feels, after all these 
decades of Tehuantepec, a chill even in these lovely 
days. The situation she will find herself in after we go 
appalls me, but she is determined to remain. All these 
years she has watched the increasing glories and securi- 
ties of Don Porfirio's Mexico. One could go tinarmed 
from the Rio Grande to Gautemala. Now, when the 
years begin to press upon her, she is caught up and 
ruined by present-day Mexican uncertainties, or rather, 
certainties. One knows one will lose everything one has 
here. 

N. just looked in at the door to say we may have to 
leave via the Pacific (Manzanillo and San Francisco). 
Well, it is all in the hands of the Lord. Some time, some 
way, we are destined to be recalled from Mexico City. 

1^85 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

I wonder what Huerta is thinking of doing this morn- 
ing. Will the situation weld together his divided peo- 
ple ? I am thankful not to be among the hundreds — no, 
thousands — without bank accounts in New York, Chi- 
cago, Boston, or other places, who are being packed like 
sardines on transports for "home." These are the real 
tragedies of the situation to us, though I can't help 
thinking of the Mexican side. Several hundred thou- 
sand men, women, and children have been killed in vari- 
ous ways since Madero started for Mexico City — ^Ameri- 
can gunners manning his guns. 

April 2 1 St. 5 o'clock. 

No news from Washington to-day. We might all be 
massacred. It is due to the essential meekness, want of 
national spirit, want of whatever you will in the Mexi- 
cans, that we are not, not because a paternal government 
is watching over its public servants in foreign parts. 
I have sent out for a good supply of candles; the lights 
might be cut to-night by some Zapatista band. We all 
wonder why Huerta hasn't cut the railroad to Vera 
Cruz. Why doesn't he make things a bit nasty for us? 

8 P.M. 

A word from my sofa, where I am resting in my purple 
Paris draperies. We have had a long line of visitors. 
Ayguesparsse was the first, and so nice and sympathetic. 
With his Mexican wife he does not find himself in an 
easy position. His family-in-law has made many and 
real sacrifices for La Patria and the Huerta government. 
Three men, expert machinists, are having their dinners 
down-stairs, having set up the Gatling-guns under Bum- 
side's instructions. I have provided pulque, tortillas, 
frijoles, and cigarettes for countless gendarmes. We are 
ten at dinner, and perhaps twenty have been in for tea. 
There has been an anti-American demonstration at 

286 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Porter's Hotel, where the very clever woman journalist 
I mentioned before is staying. She will sleep here to- 
night, in Ryan's room. The landlady of Porter's is also 
coming, and they will have to take friendly turns in 
a single bed. About twenty extra persons are sleeping 
here. We hear nothing from Washington direct. Al- 
gara, the Mexican charg4, has been recalled. N. saw 
Huerta this afternoon, who begged him not to go. We 
can no longer cable, though the other legations can send 
what they like to Washington via their various European 
chanceries. No trains are going out to-night nor this 
morning. Three of the many Ptdlmans, loaded with men, 
women, and children, which started yesterday for Vera 
Cruz, have not yet arrived there. We understand there 
was fighting along the road. 

Rowan is being more than nice, but I think he is rather 
longing for the baptism of fire that might be his, were 
he in Vera Cruz. 

After dinner McKenna came to tell us that there were 
three car-loads of women and children outside the Em- 
bassy gate. They had to come in, of course, and be 
attended to. 

Nelson saw Huerta to-day at his house. The Presi- 
dent said to him, very brusquely: "You have seized our 
port. You have the right to tak:e it, if you can, and we 
have the right to try to prevent you. Su Excelencia el 
Senor Presidente Wilson has declared war, unnecessarily, 
on a people that only ask to be left alone, to follow out 
their own evolution in their own way, though it may not 
seem to you a good way." He added that he would have 
been willing to give the salutes, but that the incident 
was only a pretext. In three weeks or three months, he 
said, it would have been something else; that we were 
"after him," or the Spanish to that effect. 

I think his real idea is to form the Mexicans into one 

287 



h 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

camp against the foreign foe. He does not want Nelson 
to go, in spite of the fact that Algara has been recalled. 
We have no intimation, as yet, of our leaving. Mr. 
Bryan has stated that he instructed Mr. O'Shaughnessy 
to see Huerta and ask him to keep the roads open to 
facilitate the getting out of refugees. We are asking 
favors to the end. N. had not seen the President for 
several days and did not know in what disposition he 
would find him. But Huerta took his hand and greeted 
him, saying, ''Como estd, amigoV ("How are you, 
friend?"). He might have been going to play some 
Indian trick on him. I begged Rowan to go with N., 
and he waited in the automobile while N. had the in- 
terview. 

Later. 

We are at war. American and Mexican blood flowed 
in the streets of Vera Cruz to-day. The tale that 
reaches us is that the captain of the Ypiranga tried to 
land the seventeen million rounds of ammunition. Ad- 
miral Fletcher expostulated. The captain of the Ypi- 
ranga insisted on doing it, and, as we were not at 
war, he was within his international rights. The 
admiral prevented him by force, and, they say, in order 
to justify the action imposed on him by Washington, took 
the town — thus putting us on a war basis. Whether this 
is a true version of what has happened I don't know. It 
does not sound like Admiral Fletcher, but he may have 
had definite orders from Washington. Von Hintze came 
in this afternoon. He minimized the incident, or rather, 
seemed to minimize it, but I could see that he was very 
much preoccupied. It may be a source of other and gra- 
ver comphcations than those of Mexico. It has been 
many a year since American blood flowed in the streets 
of Vera Cruz. General Scott took it in 1847. The end- 
less repetitions of history ! 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

II P.M. 

As I write, a mob, rather inoffensive, is howling out- 
side, waving Mexican flags and exhorting in loud voices. 
I can't hear anything from the window except something 
about Vivan los Japoneses, and a few remarks not flatter- 
ing to los Gringos. There are many good and capable 
Americans, willing, ready, and able to second any use 
of the guns. N. and Rowan have gone down to the cable- 
office to try and send off something to Washington. The 
silence of our government remains unbroken. Sir Lionel 
came back this morning. He is soon to go to Rio. 
How beautifully England treats her diplomats! In- 
stead of removing him, last autumn, when the row was 
on, our press campaign against him caused his superiors 
to bide their time, but it must be a great trial to Sir L. 
to be removed at so critical a moment to another post 
which, though bigger and better paid, is not of the 
imminent importance of this. 

April 2 2d. 

The wedding morn of thirteen years ago! And we 
are in Mexico, in full intervention! The troops can't 
get up from Vera Cruz by rail, as the Mexicans got 
away with all the locomotives when the town was taken. 
That beautiful plan of Butler's ... I understand that 
he is in Tampico, with his marines, and the other ma- 
rines are only due to-day in Vera Cruz. It will take 
three weeks, even without resistance, for them to march 
up with their heavy equipment. 

At 12.30 last night N., who had gone to bed and to 
sleep, after a more than strenuous day, was called to the 
telephone by the excited consul-general, who had had 
the United States shield torn off the Consulate, and other 
indignities offered the sacred building, including window- 
breaking by the mob. N. wonders if Huerta will try to 
keep him here as a hostage. Huerta told N. that he 

289 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

intends to take our arms away, and, of course, there is 
no way of keeping them if he decides to do so. We have 
certainly trampled on the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 
after 1848, providing that all disputes should be sub- 
mitted first for arbitration. So sing me no songs of 
treaty rights! 

We heard last night that the Zapatistas were to unite 
with Huerta. It would be interesting and curious to see 
a "Mexico united" on any point. If those bandits come 
out of their barrancas and mountains and do to the 
Americans half the evil they work on one another, there 
will be many a desolate mother, wife, sister, and sweet- 
heart north of the Rio Grande. N. says we may get off 
to-morrow morning. No night trips. Yesterday Garden 
and von Hintze tried to get Huerta to arrange for the 
despatching of a refugee train to leave not later than 
seven this morning, but why he should do that, or 
anything for any one, unless it falls in with his own 
plans, I don't see. It is curious that the Americans did 
not get hold of a few locomotives. The railroad is in- 
deed sounding brass and tinkling cymbals without them. 

Every arm-chair, sofa, and bed in the house was 
occupied last night, and many of the inmates lay on the 
floor. Constantly, in the distance, sounds the beautiful 
Mexican bugle-call. The brass summons is clear and 
noble, and the drums beat to the nation's pulse — a poor 
thing, according to us, but Mexico's own. Where will 
it all end? With the taking of Vera Cruz, through whose 
customs a full fourth of the total imports come, Huerta 
is out a million pesos a month, more or less. We are 
certainly isolating and weakening him at a great rate. 
* ' Might is right. ' ' We can begin to teach it in the schools. 

We have heard nothing from Washington, and nothing 
from Vera Cruz. Alone on our plateau! Up to now, 
there are no great anti-American demonstrations. I put 

290 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

my faith in Huerta, in spite of the feeling which Bumside 
expressed, that he might show Nelson an Indian's treach- 
ery. Aunt Laura is game. It is good fortune for her to 
have that comfortable home just across the way to go to. 

Something is being prepared in town. To-morrow we 
may get away. N. begins to feel that he ought to be out 
of here, the Mexican charge at Washington having left 
yesterday, with the entire Embassy staff. This we learn 
from the Foreign Office here, not from Washington. 

The newspapers are rather fierce this morning. One 
head-line in the Independiente is to the effect that **the 
Federal bullets will no longer spill brothers' blood, but 
will perforate blond heads and white breasts swollen 
with vanity and cowardice." ''Like a horde of bandits 
the invaders assaulted the three-times heroic Vera Cruz. 
The brave costenos made the foreign thieves bite the 
dust they had stained with their impure blood," etc. 
The newspapers add that the Americans landed "with- 
out a declaration of war, feloniously and advantage- 
ously." "Anathema to the cowardly mercantile pro- 
jects of the President of the United States!" they shriek. 
They had a picture of Mr. Wilson sitting on heaped-up 
money-bags, Huerta standing before him, a basket of 
eggs on each arm. "The true forces of the opponents," 
this was labeled. It is impossible to expect the Mexicans 
to seize the idea that the landing of our troops was a 
simple police measure. In face of the facts, such subtle 
distinctions will, I am sure, be overlooked. ''El suelo 
de la patria estd conculcado por el invasor extranjero,'' is 
the fact to them! I inclose here what the papers call ''el 
manifiesto laconico y elocuente del Senor Presidente de la 
Republica." ..^ ^ REPUBLIC A 

" En el Puerto de Veracruz, estamos sosteniendo con las 
armas el honor Nacional. 

291 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

" El atentado que el Gohierno Yanqui comete contra un 
pueblo Ubre, como es, ha sido y serd el de la Repuhlica, 
pasard a la Historia, que pondrd a Mexico y al Gohierno 
de los Estados Unidos, en el lugar que a cada cual cor- 
responda. V. Huerta,'' 

"TO THE REPUBLIC 

" In the port of Vera Cruz we are sustaining with arms 
the national honor. 

''The offense the Yankee government is committing 
against a free people, such as this Republic is, has al- 
ways been, and will ever be, will pass into history — 
which will give to Mexico and to the government of the 
United States the place each merits. V. Huerta." 

12.30. 

I^. has just come in to say that perhaps we leave to- 
morrow for Guadalajara and Manzanillo. I am not 
crazy to see the Pacific coast under these conditions. 
How many uncertain hours, wild mountains, and deep 
barrancas are between us and the United States men-of- 
war. 

Mr. Cummings, chief of the cable-office, and all 
his men were dismissed this morning, to be replaced by 
Federals. A dramatic incident occurred when he went 
into the office to collect his money and private papers. 
Finding himself for a moment alone, he quickly went to 
the telegraph key and called up Vera Cruz. The oper- 
ator there answered, "They are fighting at the round- 
house.*' There was a snap, and he heard no more. 
Some one was listening and shut him off. That is the 
only authentic news we have heard from Vera Cruz, or 
anywhere, for two days. But the wild rumors around 
town are numberless and disquieting. Nothing is 
touched down-stairs. I don't want to alarm people need- 

292 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

lessly by stripping my rooms ; and who knows if we can 
take out, if and when we go, more than the strict neces- 
sities. There will always be a fair amount of Embassy 
papers, codes, etc., that must go, whatever else is left. 

10.30 P.M. 

At five o'clock I went down-stairs to my drawing- 
room — the matchless Mexican sun streaming in at the 
windows — and poured tea. It was the last time, though 
I didn't know it. Many people came in: Kanya, Sta- 
lewski, von Papen, Marie Simon, Cambiaggio, Rowan, 
de Soto, and others; de Bertier had gone to Tampico. 
No one knew what was to happen to us. Had we re- 
ceived our passports? Vv^ere we to stay on ? Could ne- 
gotiations be reopened? Each came with another ru- 
mor, another question. The Gardens came in late. Sir 
Lionel very agitated over the rumors of the Zapatistas 
coming to town to-night. They are supposed to have 
joined with the Federals. It was the first time I have 
seen Sir L. since his return. He seemed whiter, paler, 
and older than when he went away. Then von Hintze 
came. We talked of the hazy Vera Cruz incident and 
its international bearing, if the captain of the Ypiranga 
had been stopped on the high seas, before the blockading 
of the port, etc. 

There was a gleam in von Hintze's eye during the 
conversation, answered by one in mine. We were both 
thinking that history has a way of repeating itself. He 
was von Dietrich's flag-lieutenant at Manila, Rowan's 
position with Fletcher at Vera Cruz. It was he who 
took the famous message to Dewey and received the 
equally famous and emphatic answer — so emphatic, his- 
tory has it, that he almost backed down the hatchway 
in his surprise. Thirteen years afterward he finds him- 
self in an American Embassy, discussing another marine 
20 293 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

incident concerning Germany and the United States, an- 
other flag-lieutenant sitting by ! ^ 

During all this time, the Embassy was closely sur- 
rounded by troops. Hearing more than the usual noise, 
I asked Rowan to see what was going on. It proved to 
be a large squad of soldiers come to take our arms and 
ammtinition away — our sacred doves of peace. All was 
done with the greatest politeness — but it was done! 
Two himdred and fifty rifles, two machine-guns, seventy- 
six thousand of one kind of ammtmition nine thousand 
of another. It was a tea-party, indeed. At half after 
seven an officer appeared in the drawing-room, as von 
Hintze and I were sitting there alone, saying that the 
President was outside. Von Hintze departed through 
the dining-room, after hastily helping me and McKenna 
to remove the tea-table. There was no time to ring for 
servants. I went to the door and waited on the honey- 
suckle and geranium-scented veranda while the tearless 
old Indian, not in his top-hat {''que da mas dignidad'')^ 
but in his gray sweater and soft hat, more suitable to 
events, came quickly up the steps. It was his first and 
last visit to the Embassy during our incumbency. 

I led him into the drawing-room, where, to the accom- 
paniment of stamping hoofs outside, of changing arms, 
and footsteps coming and going, we had a strange and 

1 Herr von Hintze began his career in the navy and before coming 
to Mexico was for some years the German Emperor's special naval attache 
to the Czar of Russia, after which he was made Minister to Mexico, with 
the rank of Rear Admiral. On the outbreak of hostilities in Europe he 
left Mexico, and is now Minister in Pekin. He crossed the Atlantic in 
September, 191 4, as steward on a small ship. When he was received by 
the Emperor on his appointment to Pekin, report has it that he said, 
"But, your Majesty, how am I to get there?" The Emperor replied, 
"As you were able to get from Mexico to Berlin, you will doubtless be 
able to get from Berlin to Pekin. Good-by, and good luck to you!" 
There are fantastic and spectacular tales of his journey to China, in which 
Zeppelins, submarines, and raiders figure — E. O'S. 

294 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

moving conversation. I could not, for my country's 
sake, speak the endless regret that was in my heart 
for the official part we had been obliged to play in the 
hateful drama enacted by us to his country's undoing. 
He greeted me calmly. 

"Senora, how do you do? I fear you have had many 
annoyances." 

Then he sat back, quietly, in a big arm-chair, imper- 
sonal and inscrutable. I answered as easily as I could 
that the times were difficult for all, but that we were 
most appreciative of what he had done for our personal 
safety and that of our nationals, and asked him if there 
was nothing we could do for him. He gave me a long, 
intraverted, and at the same time piercing look, and, 
after a pause, answered : 

' ' Nothing, sefiora. All that is done I must do myself. 
Here I remain. The moment has not come for me to go. 
Nothing but death could remove me now." 

I felt the tears come hot to my eyes, as I answered 
— taking refuge in generalities in that difficult moment — 
*' Death is not so terrible a thing." 

He answered again, very quietly, *Tt is the natural 
law, to which we must all submit. We were born into the 
world according to the natural law, and must depart 
according to it — that is all." 

He has wavy, interlacing, but not disturbing gestures 
as he speaks. He went on to say that he had come, in 
his name and that of his sefiora, to ask N. and myself to 
attend the wedding of his son, Victor, the next day. And 
notwithstanding much advice to the contrary by timid 
ones, we think it expedient to go. The safety of all 
hangs on his good-will, and it ^dll be wise, as well as 
decent, to offer him this last public attention. Just 
then Nelson came in. After greeting the President, he 
said, rather hastily, ''They have taken the arms away." 

295 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Huerta answered with a gesture of indifference, *'It 
must be," adding, ''no le hace'' C'it doesn't matter"). 

I told him with a smile, which he quite understood, 
that it wasn't much in the way of an exchange. (As we 
had taken seventeen million rounds of ammunition, and 
God knows how many guns and rifles in Vera Cruz, his 
haul at the Embassy did seem rather small!) He does 
not want us to go out by Guadalajara and Manzanillo, 
and, unless compelled to cut the line, he gives us his 
train to-morrow night to Vera Cruz, with a full escort, 
including three officers of high rank. 

"I would go myself," he said, "but I cannot leave. 
I hope to send my son in my place, if he returns from the 
north, as I expect." 

I was dreadfully keyed up, as you can imagine; I felt 
the tears gush to my eyes. He seemed to think it was 
fear that moved me, for he told me not to be anxious. 

I said, *'I am not weeping for myself, but for the 
tragedy of life." 

And, indeed, since seeing him I have been in a sea of 
sadness, personal and impersonal — ^impersonal because 
of the crushing destiny that can overtake a strong man 
and a country, and personal, because this many-colored, 
vibrant Mexican experience of mine is drawing to a 
close. Nothing can ever resemble it. 

As we three stood there together he uttered, very 
quietly, his last word : 

"I hold no rancor toward the American people, nor 
toward su Excelencia el Senor Presidente Wilson." And, 
after a slight pause, he added, **He has not under stood.'' 

It was the first and last time I ever heard him speak 
the President's name. I gave him my hand as he stood 
with his other hand on Nelson's shoulder, and knew that 
this was indeed the end. I think he realized that my 
heart was warm and my sympathies outrushing to 

296 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

beautiful, agonizing Mexico ; for, as he stood at the door, 
he suddenly turned and made me a deep reverence.' 
Then, taking N.'s arm, he went out into the starry, per- 
fumed evening, and I turned back into the dwelling I 
was so soon to leave, with the sadness of life, like a hot 
point, deep in my heart. So is history written. So do 
circumstances and a man's will seem to raise him up to 
great ends, and so does destiny crush him. . . . And 
we, who arrogated to ourselves vengeance for unproven 
deeds in a foreign land, was vengeance ours? 

I left the Embassy staff alone at dinner and came 
up-stairs, to Aunt Laura. Again I was sick at the 
thought of leaving her, old, ill, and in troubles of many 
kinds. I will do what I can for her before I go; but oh, 
I am sad, very sad, to-night. Whatever else life may 
have in reserve for me, this last conversation with a strong 
man of another psychology than mine will remain en- 
graven on my heart — his calm, his philosophy on the 
eve of a war he knows can only end in disaster for him- 
self and his people. His many fatilts, his crimes, even, 
his desperate expedients to sustain himself, his non- 
fulfilments — all vanish. I know his spirit possesses 
something which will see him safely over the dark spaces 
and hours when they come.^ 

^ If I have idealized this Indian ruler, whom I knew only at the flood- 
tide of his destiny, I have also, perhaps, given a clearer testimony to 
facts. Let history deduce the truth — E. O'S. 



XXIII 

The wedding of President Huerta's son — Departure from the Embassy — 
Huerta's royal accommodations — The journey down to Vera Cruz — 
The white flag of truce — We reach the American lines. 



April 24th. Q A.M. ' 
(In the train, after our sudden departure last night.) 

WE have just passed the famous Metlac Bridge. 
Far down these enchanting curves I see the mili- 
tary train which precedes us, with troops to test the line, 
and a flatcar for our three automobiles, to get us 
through the Federal lines at Tejeria. We passed slowly 
over the Metlac Bridge. There, in the middle, was 
fl3dng the great, white flag of peace ! We could proceed. 
It made our hearts beat fast. The splendors of this 
land under this cloudless sky are indescribable ; marvel- 
ous odors come in at the windows, and great, blazing 
stars of red and vermilion decorate every bush. The 
broad banana leaves take every possible glint, and the 
bayonet palms are swords of light. Everything is gor- 
geous — everything a splendid blaze. 

At Orizaba orderly crowds cried ''Viva Mexico!'* 
''Mueran los Gringos P' and bared their heads, as the 
troop-cars attached to our train rolled out. I cannot 
keep my eyes from the beauties of this natural world 
through which we are journeying, conducted so royally 
by command of the "Grand Old Indian." Nature is so 
generous here that she neither needs nor asks the co- 
operation of man in her giving. Alas for him! 

298 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

At six o'clock this morning they awakened us at 
Esperanza, the highest point, to get out for a good break- 
fast offered by Corona. The troops accompanying us 
were also fed, which does not always happen. Rowan 
jogged the general's mind by offering them a breakfast 
from us, but he said, "Oh no; we will provide for 
them." He evidently had orders from "on high" to 
spare no trouble or expense. 

I0.4S' 

We have just passed Cordoba, finding the crowds dis- 
tinctly more uneasy. We bought piles of bananas and 
oranges that Rowan is taking into the troop-car. He 
has just come back to say the soldiers are all smiles. 
The difficulty with the army is that the officers never in 
any way look after their men — and a soldier with an 
empty stomach and sore feet is a sad proposition. 
It is getting very warm. We are in the heart of the 
coffee zone and have only about eighteen hundred feet to 
travel before reaching sea-level. Embosomed in trees 
or pressed against blue-green hills are the pink belfries 
and domes my heart knows so well and my eyes love, a 
Spanish heritage of the land. I was thankful to see, 
higher up, that barley and corn were being planted for 
the hungry days to come. Morning-glories twist about 
every stump and branch and the hibiscus has a richer 
color. Beautiful, beautiful Mexico! * * * 

I wonder if the Embassy was pillaged and burned last 
night ? Oh, the waste there ! No time to sort out things. 
My clothes still hanging in the closets, my bric-a-brac 
left about, and I dare say a lot of trash was packed that 
I don't care for. Dear Mrs. Melick kissed me as I came 
out on General Corona's arm, in a dream, it seemed to 
me, Elim clinging to my hand, to take the auto for the 
station. I had left Aunt Laura in the salon with various 
friends whose faces are one great blur in my memory, and 

399 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Mrs. Melick was going in to get her and take her to her 
house. Since yesterday afternoon Americans can no 
longer leave Mexico City. Huerta, having heard that no 
Mexicans could leave Vera Cruz, posted this order. My 
heart is sad at leaving our people. Heaven knows what 
will happen to them. The Mexicans have commandeered 
all arms except those of foreign legations (and they will 
probably have to go), all horses, all automobiles, great 
reserves of gasoline, etc. The Embassy was well pro- 
visioned. 

Last night our train was supposed to go at nine o'clock, 
but we did not leave until eleven-thirty. The chers col- 
legues and a very few others who knew of our going were 
there to see us off, in the dimly lighted, gray station. 
At ten I begged our friends to go, and said good-by 
to von Hintze, Hohler, von Papen, les Ayguesparsse, 
Stalewski, Letellier, Kanya, and the Simons. (Simon 
has forty-five millions in gold in the Banco Nacional; 
some day he must give it up at the point of the pistol.) 
We have masses of letters and telegrams to deliver. The 
"Pius Fund" (forty-three thousand dollars) and my 
jewels and money of our own and other people's I canied 
in the black hand-bag with the gilt clasps which you 
gave me in Paris. McKenna guards the codes as if they 
were infants. No sovereign of Europe could have 
planned and executed this departure of ours more roy- 
ally than Huerta did it. You remember Polo de Ber- 
nabe's account of his '* escape" from the land of the 
Stars and Stripes? 

At Guadalupe, the first stop just outside the city, a 
painful incident occurred. About twenty-five persons, 
friends, were waiting there to board the train and con- 
tinue the journey with us. But N. had given his word 
of honor, when he received the safe-conduct, that no 
person or persons other than the personnel of Embassy 

30Q 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

and Consulate should avail themselves of this privilege. 
So rarely was faith kept with Huerta that it seemed hard 
that it should be done in this crucial hour and at the 
expense of our own people. We intended, however, to 
save even honor; but as our train rolled out of the station 
I felt, to the full, "the fell clutch of circumstance." 

My idea is to be immediately vaccinated and injected 
for all ills, and to return from New York with the first 
Red Cross brigade. I look into the deep barrancas and 
up the high moimtains, and know my people will be lying 
there, needing help, before long. Zapata is supposed to 
have offered his services to Huerta, to place himself in 
the Sierras between Puebla and the Tierra Caliente. 
He can do heartbreaking things. I know I must go now, 
but afterward I can return to work. Shall we ever again 
have an embassy in Mexico? This seems the death of 
Mexican sovereignty, la fin d'une nation. 

I saw Sir Lionel for a moment, alone, last night. 
I thanked him for all the work, the great responsibility 
that he was about to undertake for our people. He is 
very worried and anxious, and kept saying, "Oh, the 
dreadful responsibility it will be!" I told him we would 
not fail to let Washington know all that he would be 
doing for us. I fear a nervous break for him. Tears were 
in his eyes and his lip trembled. Our press has not 
handled him gently these past months. I felt both grate- 
ful and ashamed. 

We have just passed over a deep, vine-draped ravine — 
the Atoyac Gorge, with a noisy river flowing through. 
Women and children are bathing and washing clothes 
under the trees. Occasionally a blonde baby is seen in 
his dark mother's arms — so is life perpetuated. We 
have just passed the village of Atoyac, with its little 
thatched shacks and adobe huts, where the people are 
shouting ''Viva Mexico!" and we are about to make our 

301 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

last descent into the burning plain. There, after a while, 
our outposts will be waiting for us — our people waiting 
to receive their own. This is the march of empire in 
which we literally join. Southward she takes her course. 
General Corona has had many offerings of fruit and 
flowers, people whom he had never seen calling him ''Ra- 
moncito " and ''Mi General j'' and throwing pineapples 
and oranges into the train — the offerings of humble 
hearts. 

But I must go back to Wednesday night — our last 
night in Mexico City — when I was too tired for feeUng 
or thought. In the morning Nelson decided that, under 
the circumstances, he would not, could not, go to the 
Huerta wedding. Then I decided to go alone. Rowan 
went with me, in the automobile. I put on my best 
black things, long white gloves, and pearls, got through 
the crowd in front of the Embassy, and went to the 
President's house in the Calle Alfonso Herrera, enfolded 
and exhilarated by dazzling air. I got there to find 
myself the only foreigner, of course, and only three or 
four other women, the wives of Cabinet Ministers and 
generals. The men were mostly in full uniform. Ma- 
dame Huerta came in, looldng very handsome and digni- 
fied in a becoming dress of delicate pomegranate color 
veiled partly with black lace — a good dress. We gave 
each other the abrazo, and she placed me at her side, on the 
sofa. The youngest son, Roberto, a fat but sympatico 
boy of fourteen, also in full uniform, came in and kissed his 
mamacita's hand, and asked for some order. The dark, 
bright-eyed bride, in a dress with a good deal of imita- 
tion lace, arrived nearly three-quarters of an hour late. 
Immediately after her arrival the President entered, in 
his slouch-hat and the celebrated gray sweater. 

He quickly greeted the guests, called his wife, "Emi- 
lia," and then turned to me. "Mrs. O'Shaughnessy," he 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

said, and indicated a place near the table where the 
marriage contract was to be signed. So I rose, and 
stood with the family during the ceremony, which he 
had put through at a lively pace. The contract, in 
referring to the parents of the bridegroom, said **Vic- 
toriano Huerta, fifty-nine," and ** Emilia Huerta, fifty- 
two." His age may be lessened in this document a 
year or two, but I doubt it. Madame Huerta can't be 
much more than fifty-two. The youngest girl, Valen- 
cita, is only seven. 

After the ceremony, when we all went out to get into 
the automobiles, Sefiora Blanquet was with us. She is 
short, stout, and elderly. I wanted to give her her place 
as wife of the Minister of War, but the President, who 
helped me in, insisted first upon giving me his wife's 
place. I said, firmly, '*No"; but I was obliged to take 
the seat beside her, while Sefiora Blanquet struggled 
with the narrow strapontin! Imagine my feelings as we 
started off through the dazzling streets to the somewhat 
distant ''Buen Tono" church — built by Pugibet, of 
"Buen Tono" cigarette fame, and put by him, most 
beautifully decorated, at the disposition of the President 
for the wedding. On our arrival the President, who 
had gone ahead, appeared to help us out of the motor; 
then, saying to me, ''Tengo que hacer" (''I have 
something to do"), he disappeared. I never saw him 
again. 

I went up the aisle after Madame Huerta, on Rincon 
Gaillardo's arm. As soon as we were in our seats the 
archbishop came out and the ceremony began — dignified 
and beautiful. Afterward there was a low Mass with 
fine music. The tears kept welling up in my eyes as I 
knelt before the altar of the God of us all. After the 
ceremony was over we went out into the sacristy. I 
congratiolated the bride and groom, spoke to a few of 

303 



ft 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

the colleagues who were near, and then, feeling that 
my day and hour were over, I went up to Madame 
Huerta. 

We embraced several times, with tears in our eyes, 
each of us knowing it was the end and thinking of the 
horrors to come. Then I left the sacristy on some offi- 
cer's arm — I don't know who it was — and was put into 
my motor, where Rowan was patiently waiting. There 
were huge crowds before the church, but never a murmur 
against us. Tears were raining down my cheeks, 
but Rowan said: "Don't mind. The Mexicans will 
understand the tribute, and all your sadness and 
regret." 

We passed by the round point, the ''Glorieta," where 
I had seen the statue of George Washington so solemnly 
unveiled two years ago, on the 2 2d of February, 191 2. 
It had been ptilled down in the night. On the defaced 
pedestal had been placed a small bust of Hidalgo. 
Flowers were scattered about, and a Mexican flag cov- 
ered the inscription on the marble base. I learned after- 
ward that the statue had been dragged in the night by 
powerful automobiles, and placed at the feet of the 
statue of Benito Juarez, in the Avenida Juarez, whence 
the authorities had had the courtesy, and had taken the 
time, to withdraw it — through streets whose windows 
were hung with flags of every nationality except ours: 
German, French, English, Spanish. 

At 12.50 I got home to find still larger crowds of 
Americans at the Embassy — orderly and polite, but deep 
anxiety was on every face; all realized the issue before 
them. At three o'clock I heard that we would be leaving 
about seven. So many people were coming in that I had 
no time to separate my things from the Embassy things, 
nor even to make any selections. Berthe was occupied 
in throwing various articles into open trunks and valises, 

304 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

some of value, some without. I don't think she lost a 
pin. I didn't get even to my big writing-desk, where I 
had sat for seven months. You can imagine all the things 
that were left there, the accumulations of these historic 
months. All my bibelots were left about the salon, 
the manias and serapeSy the signed photographs that have 
accompanied me for years, my beautiful old frames. But 
in the face of the national catastrophe, and the leaving 
of our people to God knows what, I seemed to lose all 
sense of personal possession or to feel that objects could 
have a value. 

We have just passed Paso del Macho. Many people, 
motley groups, were standing near the train, crying 
* ' Viva la Independencia de Mexico! ' * Rowan says he wants 
to hear more ''Mueran los Gringos!'' We are about 
forty-five kilometers from Vera Cruz, and the heat, 
after the plateau, seems intense; though it is not dis- 
agreeable to feel the dissolving detente of the skin and 
nerves after the dry tenseness of many months at eight 
thousand feet. 

SOLEDAD, 1.1$. 

A blaze of heat, merciless, white. We find Mexican 
rifles stacked at intervals along the station platforms, 
and there are groups of young voluntarios looking proudly 
at their first gims or drawing long, cruel knives from 
their belts. Some are eating small, green limes, not 
nourishing at best, slashing at them with their machetes. 
The lack of a commissariat is what prevents the Mexican 
army from being in any way efficient. (Think of the full 
stomachs and comfortably shod feet of our men.) Flat- 
cars with cannon and automobiles are on the sidings. 
General Gustavo Maass, whom I have not seen since 
our trip to Vera Cruz in January, is here in command. 
He will not prove efficient — a blue-eyed Mexican, 

305 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

wearing his sandy-gray hair in a German brush effect, 
can't be. 

4 o'clock. 

We have passed Tejeria, the last Mexican station ; the 
sand-hills and spires of Vera Cruz will soon be dis- 
tinguishable. I have just looked out the window, my eyes 
dim with tears. Far up the broken track the blessed 
white flag of truce can be seen approaching — our people, 
our men, coming for their own. Admiral Fletcher evi- 
dently got the telegram. Am writing these words on 
the bottom of a little bonbon-box, which afterward I 
will tuck into my hand-bag. Oh, the burning dreariness 
of this land ! The hot, dry inhospitaHty of it ! The Mexi- 
can officers of our escort are passing and repassing my 
door, with troubled, anxious, hot faces. It is a bitter 
pill, but I see no use in trying to sugar-coat it by con- 
versation. They know my heart is heavy, too. 

Laier^ on the margin oj a page of the *^ Mexican Herald.** 

Nelson has gone with the Mexican officers up the 
track to meet our men, and all are getting out of the 
train, standing in the rank, stiff grass by the track. 
God made the heaven and the earth. * * * 

Vera CruZy April 2Sth. Morning. 

On board the Minnesota^ in the very comfortable 
quarters of the admiral. We were awakened by the 
band playing the ''Star-spangled Banner," "God Save 
the King," the beautiful Spanish national air, the 
''Marseillaise" — all according to the order of the arrival 
of the ships in the harbor. A delightful breeze is blow- 
ing and the electric fans are at work. 

The last word I scribbled yesterday afternoon was 
when I was waiting in my state-room for Nelson to come 

306 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

back to our Mexican train, with our officers, under the 
white flag. I was dehghted and deeply moved when 
suddenly big, agreeable, competent Captain Huse ap- 
peared at the door and said, '*Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, I 
am glad to see you safely arrived and to welcome you to 
our lines." 

Poor General Corona stood by at the meeting, and I 
ttuned to him with a more than hearty handshake. He 
kissed my hand, and his eyes filled. Poor, poor people! 
As Captain Huse helped me out of the train, to my joy 
and surprise I saw Hohler standing by the track. He 
had taken down a trainful of agitated Germans, English, 
and Americans, two days before, and was to go back to 
Mexico City with our returning train and escort i I had 
a few words with him, amid the dry cactus of the parched 
field, and commended to his courage and good sense our 
poor, distracted compatriots left in the volcanic city. 
There may be no concerted massacre of Americans, but 
the day will come when there will be other horrors. 
Hohler said he had not slept for three nights, and only 
prayed for a couple of hours of oblivion before tackling 
anything else. I wished him Godspeed, and gave him a 
handclasp to match the temperature. 

Then Captain Huse came up to me, saying: "We must 
go. Time is passing, and we are unarmed." 

As I turned to walk down the track with him I saw the 
pathetic spectacle of Madame Maass, whom I had parted 
from on that starry night of the Fletcher dinner, four 
months or more ago. She had walked, bareheaded, up 
that dusty stretch of track, from one train to the other, 
to go to join her husband at Soledad. The step on to 
the train by the steep embankment was so high I could 
not get up, nor could she descend; so she leaned down to 
me and I reached up to her. Tears were streaming down 
her grimy face; her black skirt was torn and rusty, her 

307 



A DIPLOMAT'S'WIFE IN MEXICO 

other clothing nondescript, to say the least; a pa- 
thetic, stout, elderly woman caught out in the troubles 
of war — or of peace, as they tell me it is called in 
Washington. 

Then Captain Huse and two of his officers. Lieutenant 
Fletcher, nephew of Admiral Fletcher, and Ensign Dodd, 
walked down the track with me about two kilometers. 
The rails were torn up, but the road-bed was undestroyed, 
and as we walked along in the blazing sun, with scrubby, 
dusty palms and cactus in the grayish fields on either 
side, my back turned to the Mexican train, I was divided 
between joy and sorrow — joy to see and be with my own 
again and the haunting thought of poor, distracted 
Mexico, and of our own people, whom we had been 
obliged to leave to Heaven knows what fate. It is 
easy to be the last out of the danger zone, but very, very 
hard to be the first; I hope that another time, if fate 
puts us again in such strange places, we will be the last 
to go. 

We finally got to our own train, which was run by a 
poor, dilapidated, leaking, propped-up engine, all that 
vv^as left. The Mexicans had been quick about the ma- 
chines, and every locomotive had been seized by them 
and sent away, after which they had destroyed those 
kilometers of track. Everybody climbed into the relief- 
train, and there came the question of getting our luggage 
from one train to another. Captain Huse had been 
obliged to come without an escort, accompanied only by 
Fletcher and Dodd, unarmed. Until they had us they 
could not make terms. So, to make a very long story 
short, several cutthroat-looking peons, casting deadly 
glances at los Gringos, transferred a lot of the hand- 
luggage, aided by the men of the party. All I possess of 
value, except that left at the Embassy, is contained in a 
single, large trunk, now reposing in the cactus-fields in 

308 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

the enemy's lines, watched over by the same shambling, 
dark-browed, cutthroat Mexicans who helped to trans- 
fer the small baggage. 

Captain Huse, finding himself with a broken-down en- 
gine and a lot of unarmed civilians, and with sundown 
approaching, was too anxious to get into his own lines to 
think of such trifles. He said, afterward, ''You didn't 
realize what danger we were in." I remember that I 
saw his face suddenly light up, as we slowly moved along. 
He had caught sight of the outposts that Admiral 
Fletcher, with vigilant forethought, had placed five miles 
out of town, with guns and telescopes, ready to rush to 
our aid, if necessary. Then he knew all was well, and, in 
spite of the fact that I had not been able to realize any 
danger, my eyes filled again at the sight of our brave men, 
some looking through their telescopes, others ready with 
their guns. 

I asked Captain Huse, "Are we at war with Mex- 
ico?" 

And he answered, ''I don't know." Adding, ''They 
say not; but when one armed force opposes another 
armed force, and many are killed, we are rather of the 
opinion that it is war." 

He had just come from the thick of the fray. We had 
sixty-three wounded, seventeen killed, and several hun- 
dred Mexicans were killed and wounded. The Cadet 
Academy made a fine defense. There would have been 
more casualties for us, but at the critical moment the 
San Francisco J the Chester, and the Prairie opened fire 
on the Academy, a few feet only above the heads of their 
own men, neatly piercing the windows of the broad, low 
fagade, as they would bulls'-eyes. All the officers are 
agreed that the immense sums spent in target practice 
by the navy in the past five years were amply compen- 
sated by that moment. 

21 309 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

As we neared Vera Cniz our men in khaki (or white 
clothes dyed in coffee, according to the hurry order) were 
seen in big detachments in classic poses — standing, lean- 
ing on their guns, or sitting in groups on the groimd, 
drinking coffee and smoking. I must say it looked very 
cozy and safe. Admiral Fletcher met us at the station, 
and I was glad indeed to clasp that brave, friendly hand 
again. He has done splendid work along all lines, passive 
or active, ever since he came to Mexican waters. Shortly 
afterward I said good-by to him and to Captain Huse, 
who is his chief of staff, and we went out in the admiral's 
barge over the glistening harbor, a thousand lights still 
lighting it, as when I last saw it, but all else changed. 
Captain Simpson, of the Minnesota, is on land duty, but 
the second in command, Commander Moody, met us at 
the gangway and we were shown into these most com- 
fortable quarters. I have heard so much of the discom- 
fort and heat of the men-of-war that I am most agreeably 
surprised. The electric fan is working ten thousand 
revolutions a moment; some one has called the new 
fan la Mexicana, for obvious reasons. Admiral Badger 
came to welcome us last night, a great, powerful, steam- 
engine of a man — a "dictator" (pardon the awful word) I 
It is a big thing to have complete charge of so powerful 
a combination as the North Atlantic fleet. He also said 
he didn't know whether we were at war or not, 
but that armed, opposing forces with heavy casu- 
alties on both sides was generally considered to be 
war; that we now '* enjoyed all the (ii^advantages 
of both peace and war." He had heard we were 
arriving with eight hundred refugees, and had char- 
tered the Mexico, of the Ward Line, to take them away. 

He asked, *' Where are all the others?" 

We said, "We are all that were allowed to come." 
Apropos of that, if it isn't war, it is, as some one re- 

310 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

marked, "sufficiently Shermanically synonymous" for 
those left in the interior! 

II o*clock. 

Captain O'Keefe, of the Mexico, came to my state-room 
a while ago. I had not seen him since before the "peace 
at any price" regime was inaugurated. He is waiting 
for a full complement of refugees; they are expecting a 
boatful from Coatzocoalcos, this afternoon. Am sitting 
in the drawing-room of the admiral, cannon trained from 
the windows. The Condi got in early this morning. 
Lying in my berth I could see her manoeuvering into hers. 
It is intensely hot in the harbor. Two hours ago Nelson 
went to the Consulate with his clerks. There is a mass of 
work to be done, besides negotiations for getting all 
Americans out of Mexico City. I wonder if that big, 
pleasant Embassy is now a mass of charred ruins ? 
A heavenly breeze is blowing through the room as I 
write. I would be very interested in what is going on 
about us were it not for the preoccupation about those 
left behind. Elim has a toy pistol which he has been 
showing to the blue-jackets. He says it is strange how 
frightened they all are, and told me, with shining eyes, 
he already had four friends on the ship and would soon 
have six. It is a blessed age — where one can so defi- 
nitely count one's friends. 

4 P.M. 

I have been sitting on deck, watching this busy port. 
Innumerable small boats, flying our flag are rapidly 
passing to and fro over the burning waters. Behind the 
Condi, which has effectually blocked the view of the 
outer harbor, is the Solace. She contains the wounded, 
the dead, and, mayhap, the dying ones. The Minnesota 
is so near the Sanidad pier that one can almost recognize 
individuals. Squads of our men are constantly marching 
along with prisoners between double files, men who have 

311 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

been caught sniping, bearing arms, or doing some overt 
act or deed of violence. Last night, while dining, the 
echo of shots came from the shore, and during the night, 
from time to time, desultory ghostly sounds of sniping 
were heard. 

I have just looked through the glass to distinguish 
about a dozen of our men standing at the head of a street 
with fixed bayonets, facing a pink house, evidently ready 
to protect some one coming out of it, or to do justice. 
The lone torpedo-tube from San Juan Ulua is trained 
toward the Minnesota, but it is believed to be inoffensive. 
I am sure I hope it is, cuddled under our bows, so to 
speak. Yesterday two Mexican officers came out of that 
historic fortress, begging to be allowed to get food. 
They said they and all the inmates were starving. I 
saw the conditions in days of relative plenty. What 
must they be now in those damp, deep, vermin-infested 
holes? Pale specters of men, too weak to move, or wild 
with hunger and all the ensuing horrors — and all this so 
near that I could almost hit it with a stone. 

Ships of refugees are passing in and out. A Dutch 
ship, Andrijk, has just left, and a French one, the Texas, 
passed by us, leaving for Tampico to gather up refugees. 
Think of all the comfortable homes, with the precious 
accimiulations of lifetimes of thrift and work, that are 
deserted in the disorder of flight, to be left later to the 
complete devastation of looters. All over the country 
this is taking place. An officer who saw a group of thirty 
or forty refugees at Tampico told me he thought at first 
it was a band of gypsies; it proved, however, to be half- 
clad, starving women and children who but a few days 
before had been prosperous American citizens. 

The sun is under a cloud, but a hot, damp atmos- 
phere has enveloped the port, and an opalescent light 
plays over the town. From where I sit I can see the old 

312 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

white fortress of Sant* lago which we shelled, and the 
yellow Naval Academy where the Mexican youths made 
their gallant stand. The chartered boats of the Ward 
Line, Mexico, Monterey, and Esperanza, also the now 
historic Ypiranga, are lying close to the various piers, 
ready to receive refugees and take them to New Orleans 
or Galveston. There they will be, in many cases, a three 
days' source of interest — and then they can starve! 

Helen, the deer, a great pet of the sailors, and got in 
Tampico, keeps trying to nibble my long, white veil; the 
spotless decks are rather poor for browsing, and she looks 
a bit disconsolate at times. A snappy green parrot is 
being taught to say, "Look out for the snipers." 

April 25th. 10.30, 
I spent yesterday quietly on board, getting my breath. 
N. was at the Consulate all day, where he had been send- 
ing off his mail. About five o'clock, when he went to 
return Admiral Badger's call, I went into town, first to 
the headquarters of Admiral Fletcher, at the fly-infested 
Hotel Terminal. In the past the proprietor has encoiu*- 
aged in many ingenious ways the propagation of the fly. 
He owns the other hotel, the Diligencias, where he has 
his cuisine. In order to save himself the expense and 
bother of keeping two cooking-places going, he allowed 
the Terminal to become so disgustingly infested with 
flies that the "guests" are obliged to tramp through the 
hot streets to the Diligencias whenever the pangs of 
hunger or thirst assail them. We have cleaned out more 
things than flies in the tropics, however. 

I saw at the headquarters, for a moment, Captain 
Huse, Sir Christopher, and le capitaine de vaisseau 
Graux, commanding the Cond6, and many others. After- 
ward Admiral Fletcher sent Rowan with me to see the 
town. 

313 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Everything is closely watched and controlled by our five 
thousand or more blue- jackets and marines. Everywhere 
are the marks of bullets along the once-peaceful streets — 
the clean perforations of the steel- jacketed bullets of the 
American rifles; quaint cornices chipped; electric street 
globes destroyed; pink facades looking as if there was 
a design in white where the shots had taken off the color. 
We walked over to the Plaza, meeting acquaintances at 
every step, harassed and discomfited refugees. Several 
hundreds had just got into the city of the ''Truly" Cross 
from Mexico City in the last train, having been nearly 
twenty hours en route and having left most of what they 
possessed for the mobs of Mexico City. It is difficult to 
get any exact information from them. According to 
their stories, many of the bankers were in jail; American 
shops were looted ; some Americans were killed ; and all 
Mexican servants had been warned to leave American 
homes. As they left only seven hotus later than we did, 
I don't know that their information is worth much. 
The telegraph lines are down. What we do know is that 
dreadful things can happen in that beautiful city at any 
moment. When the Embassy was closed, the whole 
thing collapsed, from the point of view of Americans. 

When Rowan and I got to the Plaza we found the 
band of the Florida playing in the band-stand — nothing 
like so well as the Mexican Policia Band, by the way — 
and hundreds of people, foreigners, Americans, Mexicans, 
sitting about, taking their lukewarm drinks under the 
portales of the Hotel Diligencias, whose ice-plant had 
been destroyed by a shell from the Chester, The place 
swarms with our men, and the buildings looking on the 
Plaza are all occupied as quarters for our officers. 
From the bullet-defaced belfry of the newly painted 
cathedral blue-jackets looked down upon us, and from 
every roof and every window faces of our own soldiers 

3H 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

and officers were to be seen. We walked across to the 
Municipal Palace, which is also used by us as a barracks. 
The men of the Utah were answering the bugle-call to 
muster for night duty. They were of the battalion land- 
ing in small boats under heavy fire that first day; they 
were saved by the cannon-fire from the ships. There 
were many casualties among their ranks. The men look 
happy, proud, and pleased, and in all the novel excite- 
ment and pride of conquest. I went into the church, 
where I also found some of our men stationed. Some one 
had been shot and killed from behind the high altar, 
two days ago. I fell on my knees, in the dimness, and 
besought the God of armies. 

As we walked along in the older part of the town, en 
route to the Naval Academy, there were piles of once 
peaceful, love-fostering, green balconies heaped in the 
streets. They will be used for camp-fires by our men. 
Doors were broken in, houses empty. There was a great 
deal of sniping done from the azoteas (roofs) those first 
days, and it was necessary, in many cases, to batter down 
the doors and go up and arrest the people caught in 
flagrante, in that last retreat of the Latin-American. 

Pulque ^-shops and cantinas of all descriptions were bar- 
ricaded, and, looking through the doors, we could see 
heaps of broken glass, overttuned tables and chairs. A 
sour, acrid smell of various kinds of tropical "enliveners " 
hung in the still, heavy air — mute witnesses of what had 
been. We passed through several sinister-looking streets, 
and I thought of **Mr. Dooley's" expression, ''The 
trouble we would have if we would try to chase the Mon- 
roe doctrine up every dark alley of Latin America. ' ' The 

^ One of the most amusing things ever stated about Carranza is that 
he intends to have the too-popular pulque replaced by light French wines! 
One can only hope that, while he is about it, he will arrange to replace 
com by permanent manna! 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

big, once-handsome Naval Academy was patrolled by 
our men, its fagade telling the tale of the taking of the 
town only too well; windows destroyed by the Chester's 
guns, balconies hanging limply from their fastenings. 
We looked through the big door facing the sea, but the 
patrol said we could not enter without a permit. Every 
conceivable disorder was evident — cadets' uniforms lay 
with sheets, pillows, books, broken fiuniture, heaps of 
mortar, plaster. The boys m.ade a heroic stand, and 
many of them gave up their lives; but what could they 
do when every window was a target for the unerring mark 
of the Chester's guns? Many a mother's hope and pride 
died that day for his country, before he had had a chance 
to live for it. This is history at close range. 

I had finally to hurry back, stopping, hot and tired, 
for a few minutes at the Diligencias, where we had some 
lukewarm ginger-ale; my sticky glass had a couple of 
reminiscent lemon-seeds in it. It was getting dusk and 
Rowan was afraid the sniping might begin. I got into 
the Minnesota's waiting boat, feeling tmspeakably sad, 
and was put out across the jeweled harbor — but what 
jewels! Every one could deal a thousand deaths. 

Nelson had a long talk with Admiral Fletcher. . . . 
On receipt of orders to prevent the delivery by the 
Ypiranga of the arms and ammunition she was carrying 
to the Mexican government and to seize the customs, 
his duty was solely to carry out the commands of the 
President in a manner as effective as possible, with as 
little damage to ourselves as possible. This he did. 

I think we have done a great wrong to these people; 
instead of cutting out the sores with a clean, strong 
knife of war and occupation, we have only put our 
fingers in each festering wound and inflamed it further. 
In Washington there is a word they don't like, though it 
has been written all over this port by every movement 

3i£ 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

of every war-ship and been thundered out by every 
cannon — War. What we are doing is war accompanied 
by all the iniquitous results of half-measures, and in 
Washington they call it "peaceful occupation." 

Now I must sleep. The horrors of San Juan Ulua (on 
which our search-lights play continually) will haimt me, 
I know. The stench of those manholes is rising to an 
unanswering, starlit sky. May we soon deliver it 
from itself! 

Saturday Morning. 

Captain Simpson came back from shore duty late last 
night. He is so kind and solicitous for our comfort, that 
I only hope we are not too greatly interfering with his. 
He has had his men lodged in a theater, commandeered 
for the purpose. He went to some barracks first, but 
fortunately learned in time that there had been menin- 
gitis there, and decamped even quicker than he went in. 
Captain Niblack has taken his place. 

The Minnesota, on which Admiral Fletcher was when 
he went into Vera Cruz, is a ship not belonging to any 
division down here, and is only temporarily in harbor. 
So she is used for all sorts of disjointed, but important 
work — distributing of supplies, communications of all 
kinds. She is more than busy — a sort of clearing-house — 
during what they call here **the hesitation war, one step 
forward, one step back, hesitate, and then — side-step.'* 

The rescue-train goes out through our lines every day 
imder Lieutenant Fletcher, to meet any train possibly 
arriving from the interior. And, oh, the odds and ends 
of exasperated and ruined American humanity it 
brings in! 



XXIV 

Dinner on the Essex — The last fight of Mexico's naval cadets — American 
heroes — End of the Tampico incident — Relief for the starving at San 
Juan Ulua — Admiral Fletcher's greatest work. 

''Minnesota,'* April 26th. 

WHEN Nelson left, as you know, he turned our 
affairs over to the British, an English-speaking, 
friendly, great Power, which could and would help our 
nationals in their desperate plight. Behold the result! 
Last night we dined on the Essex, in our refugee clothes. 
Sir Christopher, looking very handsome in cool, spot- 
less linen, met us at the gangway with real cordiality 
and interest. 

His first words after his welcome were, "I have good 
news for you." 

"What is it?" we asked, eagerly. **We have heard 
nothing." 

' ' Garden is going to arrange to get out a refugee- train 
of several hundred Americans on Monday or Tuesday, 
and I have this afternoon sent off Tweedie [commander 
of the Essex] with two seven-foot marines and a native 
guide to accompany the convoy down. He is to get up 
by hook or crook. He will go by train, if there is a train, 
by horse if there isn't, and on foot, if he can't get horses." 

You can imagine the love feast that followed as we 
went down to dinner. We were proceeding with a very 
nice piece of mutton (Admiral Badger had sent a fine, 
juicy saddle over to Sir Christopher that morning) when 
a tdegram came — I think from Spring-Rice. An3rway, 

318 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

the foiir Englishmen read it and looked rather grave. 
After a pause Sir Christopher said, "They might as well 
learn it from us." What do you think that telegram 
contained? The news that American interests had been 
transferred from Sir Lionel's hands into those of Cardoza, 
the Brazilian minister! Of course I said to Sir Christo- 
pher, ''Our government very naturally wants to com- 
pliment and sustain good relations with South America, 
and this is an opportunity to emphasize the fact," but 
it was rather a damper to our love feast. 

Well, we have taken our affairs and the lives of many 
citizens out of the hands of a willing, powerful, and re- 
sourceful nation and put them into the hands of a man 
who, whatever Power he represents, has not the practical 
means to carry out his kind desires or friendly inten- 
tions. I doubt if Huerta knows him more than by 
sight. Washington has made up its mind about 
Carden and the English r61e in Mexico, and no deeds 
of valor on the part of Carden will make any differ- 
ence. Washington won't have him. Sir Christopher 
Cradock, here in a big battle-ship in the harbor, is willing 
and able to co-operate with Sir Lionel, the head of a 
powerful legation in Mexico City, for the relief of our 
nationals in sore plight and danger of life ; but apparently 
that has nothing to do with the case. Washington is re- 
lentless. 

The Essex shows between eighty and ninety "woimds," 
the results of the fire from the Naval Academy on 
Wednesday. Paymaster Kimber, whom they took me in 
to see after dinner, was in bed, shot through both feet 
and crippled for life. The ship was an "innocent by- 
stander," with a vengeance. In Sir Christopher's saloon, 
or rather. Captain Watson's saloon, were hung two slip- 
pers (one of pink satin and the other of white) which had 
been found at the Naval Academy after the fight — dumb 

319 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

witnesses of other things than war. The officers said 
the Academy was a horrid sight. Those boys had taken 
their mattresses from their beds, put them up at the 
windows, and fired over the top; but when the fire 
from the ships began these flimsy defenses were as 
nothing. There were gallant deaths that day. May 
their brave yoimg souls rest in peace. I don't want to 
make invidious distinctions, but in Mexico the youngest 
are often the brightest and noblest. Later there is 
apt to be a discouraging amount of dross in the gold. 

I keep thinking of Captain Tweedie, en route to Mexico 
City to help bring out American women and children. 
When he gets there he will find that rescue isn't any of 
his business! 

Yesterday afternoon the North Dakota came in. We 
saw her smoke far out at sea, and she was a great sight 
as she dropped anchor outside the breakwater. I was 
looking through the powerful glass on Captain Simpson's 
bridge. Her blue- jackets and marines were massed in 
orderly lines, doubtless with their hearts beating high 
at the idea of active service. Lieutenant Stevens, who 
was slightly wounded in the chest on Wednesday, came 
back to the ship yesterday. He is a young bridegroom 
of last autumn and has been here since January. The 
** cheerful, friendly" bullet is in his chest in a place 
where he can always carry it. I understand that when 
he was woimded he was on the outskirts of the town, 
and that he and another wounded man, themselves on 
the verge of collapse, carried an unconscious comrade 
several kilometers to the hospital. But who shall record 
all the gallant deeds of the 21st and 2 2d of April ?^ 

I I think of a few — 3. very few — out of the number that were recounted 
to me: McDonnell commanding the machine-guns, trained from the 
Hotel Terminal, while the blue- jackets were landing under fire. In that 
exposed position his men (mere boys) were falling all about him; the 

320 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

"Minnesota,'' April 26th. j p.m. 

I witnessed from the deck of our ship, an hour ago, the 
dramatic end of the Tampico incident, and, doubtless, 
the beginning of a much greater one — the raising of our 
flag over the town of Vera Cruz, which was to-day put 
under martial law. At 1.30 I went up on deck. The 
bay was like a hot mirror, reflecting everything. Through 
a glass I watched the preparations for the raising of the 
flag on the building by the railroad station — an English 
railway. "Who's whose now," came into my mind. 

It was a busy scene on shore and land. Admiral 
Badger passed over the shining water in his barge, a 
beautiful little Herreschoff boat, shortly before two o'clock, 
wearing side-arms. His staff was with him. Battalions 
were landing from various ships and immense crowds 
stood near the railroad station. There was an electric 
something in the air. Captain Simpson and his officers, 
of course, were all on deck, looking through their glasses, 
and we were all breathing a little hard, wondering what 
the foreign war-ships would do. Would they ac- 
knowledge our salute? Exactly at two o'clock the flag 
was raised, and immediately afterward the Minnesota 
gave the famous twenty-one salutes to our own flag, re- 
fused us at Tampico. The bay was ominously quiet af- 
ter the thunder of our cannon. I suppose the foreign 
ships were all busy cabling home to their governments 
for instructions. No man could venture to settle that 
question on his own initiative. It was anti-climax with 
a vengeance ! 

dash of Wainright and Castle and Wilkinson for the Customs-House; 
Badger and Townsend pushing up the steel belfry stairs of the cathedral 
in the hunt for snipers; Courts taking messages to the Chester through 
the zone of fire. The enlisted men were magnificent. Chief Boatswain 
McCloy, with a few men in small launches, steamed across the bay to 
attract the jQre of the sharpshooters so the Prairie could get the range. 
The days of danger were all too short for those gallant hearts. 

321 



A DlPLOMAT^S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Is this to be the end of all that triangular work of 
Nelson's between Huerta, the Foreign Office, and Wash- 
ington during the two weeks elapsing since Colonel Hino- 
josa's taking of our blue-jackets out of their boat at 
Tampico and our leaving the Embassy in Mexico City? 



This morning I went ashore, accompanied by a young 
officer, McNeir. We sauntered for an hour or so about 
the town, which has decidedly pulled itself together. 
Shops that were heaped with overturned furniture, 
broken glass, and strewn with dirty papers and debris of 
every description, visible through shattered windows and 
broken doors two days ago, had been swept out and 
were showing signs of normal occupation. New doors 
were being made, and the little green balconies of peace 
were being mended. Ensign McNeir suddenly found 
that he had been spat upon. His broad chest was lav- 
ishly embroidered in a design of tobacco-juice, doubtless 
from an innocent-looking green balcony. He had blood 
in his eye, and kept glancing about, hoping to find the 
man that did it. 

The Naval Academy was a horrid sight as we went in 
from the sea-front. In the school-rooms books, maps, 
globes, and desks were overthrown among masses of 
mortar. One of the blackboards bore the now familiar 
words in chalk, Mueran los Gringos. Great holes were in 
floors, walls, and ceilings. When we went up-stairs the 
devastation was even greater. Our men had fought in 
the street, and the Chester and Prairie fired over their 
heads just into the windows of the second floor, where 
were the commandant's quarters, and the large, airy dor- 
mitories. The dormitories had been rifled before we put 
a guard over the building, the lockers emptied of their 
boyish treasures — ^knives, books, photographs; occasion- 

322 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

ally a yellow or red artificial rose, a ribbon, or a bit of 
lace testified to other gods than Mars. 

The great floors were ankle-deep in a litter of uni- 
forms, shirts, collars, gloves, letters, brushes, combs, and 
the like. They had been comfortable, airy quarters, and 
I suppose now will make good barracks, or headquarters, 
for our officers. Photographers were busy as we passed 
through. In the two dormitories giving on the Plaza 
at the back, away from the ships' fire, the dying and 
wounded had evidently been carried. Blood-soaked pil- 
lows, mattresses, and sheets bore witness to their agonies. 
Our men were busy everywhere in the building, sorting, 
packing, and putting things in order. A town under 
martial law seemed, this morning, an orderly affair 
indeed. 

I inclose Admiral Fletcher's "Proclamation to the 
Public of Vera Cruz," also his order for martial law. 
This proclamation will facilitate the functions of govern- 
ment. Many difficulties were in the way of renewing the 
regular civil and business activities of the town. There 
is a clause in the Mexican constitution which makes it 
high treason for any Mexican to hold employment under 
a foreign flag during enemy occupation, and for once the 
Mexicans seem to be living up to the constitution. 

It is wonderful how our blue-jackets and marines have 
been able to go into Vera Cruz and perform the compli- 
cated, skilled labor necessary to the well-being of a 
town. Everything, from the ice-plants and tramways 
to the harbor lighthouse and post-office, has been put in 
working order; they seem to step with equal facility 
into one and every position requiring skilled labor. 
They are a most resourceful set of men, these hatchet- 
faced, fair-haired youths, the type standing out so dis- 
tinctly in that tropical setting. I was deeply impressed. 
Six thousand of them are on land. On the trip down 

323 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

our automobile clutch was damaged. Two blue- jackets 
looked at it and, though neither had ever been in an 
automobile before, they brought it back to the Terminal 
station, several hours later, in perfect order, able and 
longing to run it about town. ^ 

At noon yesterday thousands of arms were delivered 
to the authorities — a hybrid collection of Mauser guns, 
old duelling and muzzle-loading pistols. Relics of 1847 
were also numerous. For several days there has been 
little or no ** sniping." One man remarked, "Take it 
from me, it's a quiet old town. I walked ten blocks at 
midnight, last night, without seeing a human being." 
I might also add that I know two methods of clearing 
streets at night rivaling the curfew — snipers, and the 
press-gang. 

"Proclamation to the People of Vera Cruz 

" As the aggressions against the soldiers under my com- 
mand have continued, isolated shots being made from 
various edifices, and desiring that order and tranquillity 
be absolutely re-established, I demand that all who have 
in their possession arms and ammunition give them up 
at the Police inspection in the Municipal Palace within 
the shortest time possible. Those who have not done 
so before twelve o'clock of the 26th of this month will be 
pimished with all severity, as also those continuing hos- 
tilities against the forces under my command. On the 
surrender of arms the corresponding receipt will be given. 
" (Rear Admiral) F. F. Fletcher. 

"Vera Cruz, April 25, 1914." 

Yesterday at five o'clock we sent one thousand rations 
into the starving fort of San Juan Ulua, and to-day our 
flag flies high above it. All the political prisoners were 

324 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

released. We could see from the deck of the Minnesota 
two boat-loads of them coming across the shining water 
and being landed at the Sanidad pier. After that, I 
suppose, they swelled the ranks of the imdesirable with- 
out money, occupation, homes, or hopes. 

I saw Mr. Hudson, yesterday, looking rather worn. 
With groanings and travail unspeakable the Mexican 
Herald is being published in Vera Cruz. He says they 
have the greenest of green hands to set the type, and the 
oftener it is corrected the worse the spelling gets, the 
nights being one long hell. But as most of his readers 
have a smattering of Spanish and English, with more 
tha,n a smattering of personal knowledge of the situa- 
tion, the Herald still is most acceptable as a ** breakfast 
food." 

The Inter-oceanic, the route to Mexico City over Pue- 
bla, is being fast destroyed. Mustin in his hydroplane 
can be seen flying over the bay, reconnoitering in that 
direction. Puebla is the key to the taking of Mexico 
City from Vera Cruz. It is always capitulating to some- 
body. It will doubtless do so to us. In 182 1 Iturbide 
took it. In 1847 it was taken by Scott; in 1863 by the 
French soldiers of Napoleon. In the battle of Puebla, 
1867, there was a furious engagement between Don Por- 
firio and the French. It is a beautiful old city — some- 
times called the "Rome'* of Mexico, founded by Padre 
Motolinia, situated about midway between the coast 
and the Aztec city. It is crowded with churches and 
convents, though many of these latter have been put 
to other uses; however, the point now is when and how 
our men will reach it. The blue skies and the deep 

barrancas tell no tales. 

April 28th. Tuesday. 

Yesterday afternoon Major Butler came to see us. 
He is in command at the "roimdhouse" of Mr. Cum- 
22 325 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

mings's telegraphic episode, and is decidedly downcast at 
the idea that some peaceful agreement of a makeshift 
order will be reached. He is like a hungry man who has 
been given thin bread and butter when he wants beef- 
steak and potatoes. He seemed, also, rather embarrassed 
to be calling on us peacefully, on the Minnesota's deck, 
instead of rescuing us after a successful storming of Cha- 
pultepec, or a siege at the Embassy. 

Yesterday a notice was sent to hundreds of newspapers 
at home (without my knowledge, of course) that I was 
getting up a Red Cross niu-se corps; but there is no need 
for it. The Solace is not half full, the hospitals on shore 
have plenty of room, and the ships' doctors are not too 
busy. I had said that if fighting continued I would re- 
turn from New York with the first corps of nurses that 
came out. I have a feeling that instead of pushing on 
to Panama via Mexico and Gautemala we are going to 
make some patchwork with the A. B. C. combination. 
It can be only a makeshift, at the best, and in any event 
will be a reprieve for Huerta, though that is the last 
thing our government intends. Its heart is given else- 
where. 

Last night Admiral Cradock and Captain Watson came 
to dinner. No mention was made by them of the raising 
of the flag over Vera Cruz and of the salutes that had so 
thrilled us, 1 imagine each admiral and captain in port 
confined his activities during the afternoon to cabling to 
his home government. The only thing Sir Christopher 
said on the situation was to mildly inquire, "Do you 
know yet whether you are at war or not?" Captain 
Simpson had an excellent dinner, and we played bridge 
afterward, the starry night concealing the fateful flag 
above the English railroad terminal. 

A belated norte is predicted, but my land eyes see no 
sign of it. General Funston, of Aguinaldo and San 

326 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

Francisco earthquake fame, arrives this morning. The 
army, I understand, has more suitable equipment and 
paraphemaHa for the work of occupation, or whatever 
they call it; but I am unforgettably thrilled by the 
majesty and might of our great navy. 

April 2Qth. Morning. 

The norte still threatens, but up to now, with falling 
glass, there has been only a slight stirring of heavy, life- 
less air. 

Yesterday morning we went on shore at ten, and found 
the auto before the door of the Terminal station (other- 
wise Admiral Fletcher's headquarters). A French chauf- 
feur, risen up from somewhere, was sitting in it. No use 
inquiring into the genesis of things these days. We 
took Captain Simpson down to his old headquarters on 
the Paseo de los Cocos. He wanted to see Captain 
Niblack, who had replaced him in command. Then we 
drove down through the town to the "roundhouse,*' 
bowing to friends and acquaintances on every side, and 
feeling unwontedly comfortable and cool. 

The roundhouse makes ideal quarters — a huge cool- 
ness, with plenty of room for all the avocations of camp 
life. After wading through a stretch of sand under a 
blazing sky, we found Major Butler in his "head- 
quarters" — a freight-car — ^but with both opposite doors 
rolled back, making the car cool and airy. Two of his 
officers were with him. He is himself a man of ex- 
haustless nervous energy, and the A. B. C. combination 
hangs like a sword over his head. He could go forward 
and wipe up the coast to Panama, if he had the chance, 
he and his set of dauntless men. A few disconsolate-look- 
ing mules and horses were browsing in the dry, sandy 
grass near by; they had been taken against payment. 

*Tn the good old days in Nicaragua it was otherwise. 

327 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

You took what you needed. This government running 
things is too pious and honest to suit me," was his 
disgruntled observation when I asked if the steeds be- 
longed to him. 

The order and tranquillity of this town is maintained 
by force of arms and is complete. Since the desultory 
shots heard Friday night, sniping being then in full force, 
there has been silence along the dark waters; silence in 
every cul-de-sac^ and silence on every roof. 

At twelve we went back for Captain Simpson. We 
had a glimpse of Captain Niblack and Captain Gibbons, 
looking very big and effective in their khaki clothes. 
We left N. at the Diligencias, under the arcades, where 
people still drink lukewarm liquids, though Captain 
Simpson said he had told them where they could get 
cart-loads of ammonia for the repairing of the ice- 
plant. At one o'clock I had a very pleasant tete-d-iite 
lunch with Captain Simpson. He was naval attache 
in London before getting the Minnesota, and we found 
ourselves, for once, talking of people and things far 
removed from Vera Cruz. A note came for Nelson 
from Captain Huse, saying the admiral wanted to 
confer with him, and Captain Simpson sent a man 
to find Nelson and deliver it. Afterward, Captain Mof- 
fett of the Chester came on board. He has been a 
friend of oiirs from the first, a very agreeable man, al- 
ways au courant with events as they really are. We are 
all hoping that the matter of the affairs of Americans 
being taken out of the hands of Sir Lionel and given to 
the Brazilians would not get into the newspapers. It 
might lead to hard feeling between the nations and indi- 
viduals concerned. Captain Watson of the Essex then 
appeared on board, with the Baron and Baroness von 
Hiller, and we all went in his laimch to the outer har- 
bor, which I had not yet seen — the view being completely 

328 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

blocked by the Condi y which also hid the handsome Essex, 
really very near us. Oh, the glory and majesty and po- 
tency of the United States as there depicted! Great 
dreadnoughts, destroyers, torpedo-boats, every imagin- 
able craft, nearly eighty of them — and for what? To 
pry a sagacious and strong old Indian out of a place and 
position that he has proved himself eminently well fitted 
to fill. Captain Ballinger's hydroplane, operated by 
Mustin, was circling above the harbor, coming from time 
to time to rest upon the water like some creature equally 
at home in sky or sea. 

In the evening we went to dine with the von Hillers, 
aboard the Ypiranga. Admiral Cradock and Captain 
Watson were also there. Captain Watson told me of the 
return of Commander Tweedie, who had brought down 
from Soledad in his private car two hundred and six 
American men, women, and children, whom he had 
found dumped on sand-dunes, and who had been without 
food and without drink for twenty-four houi*s. I don't 
know the details, but I will ask Tweedie tO lunch to- 
morrow. This much I do know — that the English, whose 
help we have refused, continue to display their strong 
arms and kind hearts and have been angels of mercy 
to our ruined and distracted countrymen. 

After dinner we went up on deck, where Captain 
Bonath of the Ypiranga joined the party. He was more 
than polite to N. and myself, in a frozen way, but 
the air was charged and tense, and the look of surprise, 
indignation, and resentment not yet gone from his 
face. In the course of the conversation it came out that 
the Brazilian consul in Vera Cruz is a Mexican ! There 
was a scarcely perceptible shrug of the shoulders on the 
part of the captain, and Captain Watson caught and 
then avoided his eye. To all inquiries and innuendoes 
we have only answered that, as Washington seemed to 

329 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

put some hope in the A. B. C. mediation affair, it was 
thought best, at hom^e, to pay Brazil the compHment of 
putting our affairs in her hands. The fact is that all that 
has been done at this special moment for our needy and 
suffering ones has been accomplished by the long, strong 
arm of England. Rowan, who was also at dinner, came 
away with us and we walked along the pier through our 
lines of sentinels pacing everywhere in the heavy dark- 
ness. Away back in the cotmtry, on the dim distant sand- 
dunes they are pacing too, alert, prepared for any surprise. 
When we came out to the Minnesota not a breath was 
stirring over the glassy water. Captain Simpson met us 
at the gangway. I told him the air was a little tense on 
shore, and added that I wanted to have Tweedie come 
to see us to-morrow. So we arranged luncheon for to- 
day. Captain Simpson remarked, with his usual broad 
outlook, "The nations will have to work out things in 
their own way; but we, the individuals, can always show 
appreciation and courtesy." 

" Minnesota,'' April 30th. ^ a.m. 

Yesterday, at 9.30, Captain Watson came to fetch me 
to go to San Juan, dashing up to the ship in great style 
in his motor-launch. Captain Simpson sent Lieutenant 
Smyth, who was eager to see it, with us. We descended 
the gangway in the blazing sun and got into the launch, 
which, however, refused to move further. Finally, after 
some time of hot rolling on the glassy water, we trans- 
ferred to one of the Minnesota's boats, and in a few min- 
utes I found myself landing, after two months, at the 
dreadful and picturesque fortress, under its new flag. 
The old one, let us hope, will never again fly over hunger, 
insanity, despair, and disease.^ 

We found Captain Chamberlain in his office. He is a 

1 The dungeons of San Juan are again full — ^^.O'S, 

33° 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

strong, fine-looking young man. Indeed, our marines and 
blue- jackets are a magnificent-looking set, hard as nails, 
and endlessly eager. Captain Chamberlain was sur- 
rounded by all the signs of ''occupation," in more senses 
than one. Records, arms, ammimition, uniforms of the 
"old regime" were piled about, waiting till the more 
vital issues of flesh and blood, life and death, have been 
disposed of. Captain Chamberlain was in New York 
only a week ago, and now finds himself set to clean up, 
in all ways, this human dumping-groimd of centuries. 
He detailed an orderly to accompany us, and we went 
through a door on which the Spanish orders of the day 
were still to be seen written in chalk. 

We started through the big machine-house, which was 
in excellent up-keep, so the ofiicers said, full of all sorts 
of valuable material, especially electrical. This brought 
us out on the big central patio, where three groups of 
fifty-one prisoners each sat blinking in the unaccus- 
tomed light, and waiting to have straw hats portioned 
out to them, temporarily shielding their heads from the 
sun with rags, dishes, pans, baskets, and the like. An 
extraordinary coughing, sneezing, spitting, and wheezing 
was going on. Even in the hot simshine these men were 
pursued by the specters of bronchitis, pneumonia, 
asthma, and kindred ills. We went into a dim dvmgeon, 
just cleared of these one himdred and fifty- three men. 
It seemed as if we must cut the air to get in, it was so 
thick with hirnian miasmas; and for hotirs afterward an 
acrid, stifling something remained in my lungs, though 
I kept inhaling deeply the sim-baked air. As my eyes 
became accustomed to the darkness, I looked about; the 
dripping walls were oozing with filth; there were wet 
floors, and no furniture or sanitary fittings of any kind. 
A few shallow saucepans, such as I had seen rations 
poured into at my former visit, were lying about. The 

3?i 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

rest was empty, dark, reeking horror. But God knows 
the place was abundantly hung and carpeted and fur- 
nished with human misery, from the dull, physical ache 
of the half-witted peon, to the exquisite torture of the 
man of mind habituated to cleanliness and comfort. 
What appalling dramas have there been enacted I dare 
not think. 

One was told me. A man, not long imprisoned, 
accidentally found, in the darkness, a stick and a 
thick, empty bottle. With the bottle he drove the 
stick deep into the brain of a man, unknown to him, who 
was dozing near him. When taken out to be shot he 
was found to be of the educated class. He said, in un- 
availing self-defense, that he had been crazed by the 
darkness and the suffocating stench. 

On coming out into the blessed air again, we exam- 
ined at rather close range these lines of men just re- 
admitted to the fellowship of sun and sky. They pre- 
sented a varied and disheartening study for the eth- 
nologist — or conqueror. There was every type, from 
half-breed to full Indian; the majority of the faces 
were pitted by smallpox. A few of the men had small, 
treasured bundles, to which they clung, while others, ex- 
cept for the rags that covered them, were as unfettered 
by possessions as when they were bom. Thick, matted, 
black hair and irregular growths of stubby, Indian 
beards gave their faces a savage aspect. At the end of 
one of the lines were two very yoimg boys, not more than 
thirteen or fourteen, their faces still fresh and their eyes 
bright. I wanted to ask why they were there, but their 
line had received its hats, and they were marched out 
through the portcullis to the beach. 

Many of the inmates of San Juan were conscripts 
awaiting the call to ''fight" for their country; others 
were civil delinquents, murderers, thieves. Most of the 

33^ 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

poor brutes had a vacant look on their faces. The politi- 
cal prisoners had already been freed. Two of the big 
dungeons were still full. There were five or six hundred 
in one space, pending the cleaning out of the empty ones, 
when they were to be redistributed. Captain Chamber- 
lain was in the patio, trying to expedite matters, when 
we came out of the first dungeon. I think he had some 
sixty men to assist him, and was wrestHng with book and 
pencil, trying to make some sort of classification and 
record. We walked over to another comer to inspect a 
dungeon said to have chains on the walls and other 
horrors still in place. Between the thick bars of one 
where those sentenced to death for civil crimes were 
kept peered a sinister face, pockmarked, loose of mouth, 
and dull-eyed. I asked the owner of it what he had done. 
''MaW CT killed"), he answered, briefly and hope- 
lessly. He knew he was to pay the penalty. 

There has not yet been time for our men to investigate 
fully the meager, inexact records of the prison. We went 
through the patio, under the big portcullis, along the 
way leading by the canals or moats to the graveyard 
by the beach. This was speakingly empty. There were 
only a few graves, and those seemed to be of officers or 
commanders of the castle and members of their families 
long since dead. With mortality so constantly at work, 
and with no graves to be found, testimony, indeed, was 
given by the sharks swimming in the waters. A simpler 
process than burial was in practice: a hunting in the 
darkness, a shoveHng out of bodies, a throwing to the 
sea — the ever-ready. 

As we passed along one of the ledges we could hear 
sounds of life, almost of animation, coming through the 
loopholes that slanted in through the masonry — a yard 
and a half deep by four inches wide. These four-inch 
spaces were covered by a thick iron bar. When I had 

333 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

last passed there, a dead, despairing silence reigned. 
Now, all knew that something had happened, that more 
was to happen, and that good food was the order of the 
day. Coming back, we met the second detachment of 
fifty-one, being marched out to the sandy strip at the 
ocean-end of the fortress. Many of them will be freed 
to-day to join those other htmdreds that I saw. They 
will know again the responsibilities, as well as the joys of 
freedom, but, alas, they will be of very little use to 
the state or to themselves. We walked up the broad 
stairs leading to the fiat roofs covering the dungeons. 
A squad of our men had established themselves on the 
wide landing, with their folding-cots, rifles, and all the 
paraphernalia of their business. Captain Watson said, 
as we got upon the azotea, ''The holes in the floor were 
ordered cut by Madero when he came into power." I 
told him that I didn't think so, they had seemed to me 
very old; and when we examined them the raised edges 
were found to be of an obsolete form and shape of brick, 
and the iron barrings seemed to have centuries of rust 
on them. Nothing was changed. Nothing had ever been 
changed. It remained for a foreign hand to open the 
doors. 

The torpedo-house, which was near our landing, 
seemed business-like, clean, and very expensive, even to 
my inexpert eyes. Stores were being landed by one of 
the Minnesota's boats — great sides of beef, bread, coffee, 
vegetables, sugar. I was so thankful to see them, and to 
know that hunger no longer stalked right under our 
bows. 

I reached home in time for two baths and to change all 
my clothing before one o'clock, when Commander 
Tweedie arrived for lunch. He had a most interesting 
tale to tell of his journey down from Mexico City, and 
told it in the characteristic, deprecating way of an Eng- 

m 



I 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

lishman who has done something, but who neither wants 
credit nor feels that he has done anything to deserve it. 
He came back as far as Soledad in a special train, with 
a guard of twenty-five of the famous Twenty-ninth. 
At Soledad he saw a miserable, himgry, thirsty, worn- 
out party of Americans, men, women, and children, from 
Cordoba. Most of them had been in jail for eight days, 
and then found themselves stranded at Soledad for 
twenty-four hours, without food or drink, huddled up by 
the railroad station. Tweedie is a man of resource. 
Instead of getting back to Vera Cruz and reporting on 
the condition, he made up his mind that he would take 
the party on with him, or stay behind himself. After 
some telegraphing to Maass, with whom he had, fortu- 
nately, drunk a capita (oh, the power of the wicked capita!) 
as he passed his garrison, he finally got permission to 
start for Vera Cruz with the derelicts, under the fiction 
of their being English. 

They had to walk the twenty blazing kilometers from 
Tejeria, a sort of burning plowshare ordeal, one old 
lady and various children being carried in blankets. He 
gave them every available drop of liquid he had in his 
car, and he said the way the children lapped up the 
ginger-ale and lemonade was very amusing. Still imder 
the auspices of Carden, a train-load of five or six hundred 
started, last night or this morning, for Coatzacoalcos. 
Sir Lionel, fearing a panic, decided not to say, till he gets 
off this last train-load, that our affairs are no longer in his 
hands. I think magnanimity can scarcely go further; 
my heart is full of gratitude for the inestimable services 
the English have rendered my countrypeople. 

At four o'clock I went on shore to see Admiral Fletcher. 
Ensign Crisp (wearing side-arms) accompanied me. Cap- 
tain Simpson thinks it more suitable to send some one 
with me, but never, in all her four hundred years or so 

335 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

of existence, has Vera Cruz been safer, more cheerftd, 
more prosperous, more hygienic. The zopilotes circling 
the town must think mournfully of the days when every- 
' thing was thrown into the street for all that flies or 
crawls to get fat and multiply on. 

I found Admiral Fletcher in his headquarters at the 
Terminal, serene and powerful. He said, ''I go out to 
the Florida to-morrow. I have finished my work here. 
Things are ready to be turned over to General Funston." 
I told him not only of my admiration for his work during 
these last days, and what it entailed, but that more than 
all I admired his work of keeping peace in Mexican 
waters for fourteen months. A dozen incidents could 
have made for disturbance but for his calm judgment, 
his shrewd head, and the big, very human heart beat- 
ing in his breast; and I said to him what I have repeated 
on many occasions, that it is due to Huerta, to Admiral 
Fletcher, and to Nelson that peace has been maintained 
during these long, difficult months. It was destined for 
an incident outside the radius of the power of these 
three to bring about the miHtary occupation. 

We spoke a few words of the old Indian, still wrestling 
on the heights. Admiral Fletcher ended by saying, in 
his quiet, convincing manner, ' ' Doubtless when I get to 
Washington I will understand that point of view. Up 
to now I know it only from this end.'* 

I told him how I hated half -measures; how they were 
disastrous in every relation of life — family, civil, public, 
and international — and never had that been proven more 
clearly than here. Even he does not seem to know 
whether we have brought all this tremendous machinery 
to the shores of Mexico simply to retreat again, or 
whether we are to go on. As I went away, I could but 
tell him once more of my respect and affection for him- 
self and my admiration for his achievements, I passed 

33^ 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

out of the room, with tears in my eyes. I had seen a 
great and good man at the end of a long and successful 
task. Later, other honors will come to him. Probably 
he will get the fleet. But never again will he, for four- 
teen long months, keep peace, with his battle-ships filling 
a rich and coveted harbor. When all is said and done, 
that is his greatest work. 



XXV 

Our recall from Mexican soil — A historic dinner with General Funston — 
The navy turns over the town of Vera Cruz to the army — The march 
of the six thousand blue-jackets — Evening on the Minnesota. 

May jst. 

YESTERDAY, April 30th, Admiral Fletcher turned 
**La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz" over to the army. 
It was perfectly quiet, continuing to enjoy unknown 
prosperity. But of that later. At eleven o'clock, as we 
were about to go on shore, an envelope was brought to 
N. On opening it he found it was his recall from Mexi- 
can soil, and we forthwith departed for the shore to see 
Admiral Fletcher. He was receiving visitors, for the 
last time, at his headquarters, and N. was imme- 
diately admitted. Admiral Badger passed through the 
antechamber, in his strong, dynamic way, as I waited 
with Captain Huse, whose face and personality are 
graven on my memory as he appeared in my compart- 
ment that afternoon at Tejeria. 

Soon I went into Admiral Fletcher's room, a great, 
square, high-ceilinged room, where he and Captain Huse 
had slept and worked during all those strange days, with 
another almost equally large, a sort of Neronian bath- 
room, opening out of it. A breeze nearly always blows 
in from the sea. N. was turning over the motor to 
the navy, where it will be of great service. It was 
a feat to get it down here with no further injury 
than a damaged clutch, which the clever seamen put in 
order. There was a good deal of coming and going at 

338 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

headquarters, so we soon left and went to call on Gen- 
eral Funston at General Maass's old headquarters. It 
ended by our remaining to dinner with General Funston 
— ^his first dinner in General Maass's home. 

I suppose I am not only the only woman who has 
had a meal there tmder two flags, but the only person. 
I went up the broad stairs with Colonel Alvord, the 
stairs I had last descended on General Maass's arm. 
When I got there General Fimston was in the large front 
room where the Maass family had lived and breathed 
and had its being. After greeting him, my eye roved 
over the room. On the table, with its white drawn- 
work cloth, was the same centerpiece of white coral 
(from which himg bits of bright green artificial moss) and 
the large silver cup ; there was the silent piano, with its 
piles of worn music; the porcelain ship (sad augury), 
filled with faded artificial roses; the bead curtains divid- 
ing the big room in half; the rocking-chair of which the 
family had been so proud; even the doily that came off 
on my back! We went in almost immediately to the 
large, bountifully spread table, where the food was 
served in the Maass china. I, of course, sat on General 
Funston's right, and N. on his left. His fine, alert staff, 
ready and anxious to take over the town and the coimtry, 
the hemisphere, or anything else, made up the party. 
They were all very nice about my being there "to grace 
their first meal." 

General Funston is small, quick, and vigorous. There 
is a great atmosphere of competency about him, and he 
is, they tell me, a magnificent field officer. He had been 
to Mexico nineteen years before, thinking to invest 
money in coffee ; now in the turning wheel of life his rep- 
utation is being invested in the situation which he is 
more than equal to. They are all afraid that some hybrid 
breed of *'dove of peace" — "peace at any price" (or 

339 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

** preparedness for more kicks " — as some one gloomily 
observed) will flap his wings over the land. The army is 
ready, willing, and able to bring to a successful issue, 
in the face of any difficulty, any task set it. I am 
sure that the officers feel the cruelty of half -measures, 
cruelty both to our own people and to Mexico; they 
know war can't be more disastrous than what we are 
doing. The dinner of ham, with cream sauce, potatoes, 
macaroni, beans, and pickles, came to an end all too soon. 
Coffee and cigarettes were served as we still sat around 
the big table. My eyes rested admiringly on those half- 
dozen strong, competent men in their khaki suits. It is 
the most becoming of all manly apparel — flannel shirt, 
with low, pointed collar, trousers like riding-breeches, 
leather leggings, cartridge-belts, and side-arms all in 
one tone. They are going to pack the Maass relics 
and turn them over to their owners. Admiral Fletcher 
had sent a message to General Maass, promising to for- 
ward all their effects. I must say I had a real concep- 
tion of "fortunes of war" when they hunted for butter- 
dishes and coffee-cups in the Maasses' gaudy china-closet. 
They had only got into the house in the morning, and 
had had no time for anything except the arrangements 
for taking over the town. 

General Funston said he had a little daughter, Eliz- 
abeth, bom to him the day he arrived in Vera Cruz. 
He also told us he had been routed out of bed, one night, 
by extras, saying "O'Shaughnessy Assassinated! Prai- 
rie Simk!" and he felt that the moment of departure 
might, indeed, be near. He gave N. an historic pass 
to go between the lines at any time, and we left soon 
afterward, as it was nearing the hour for the officers to 
go to the ftmction on the Sanidad pier — "a little Fun- 
ston," as Captain Huse called it. I shook hands with 
them all and wished the general ''Godspeed to the 

340 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

heights.'* Whatever is necessary, he and his strong, 
faithful men will do. We walked through the hot, white 
streets to the Plaza, and were soon overtaken by Gen- 
eral Funston and his chief of staff, riding in a disreputable 
coche drawn by a pair of meager gray nags. I believe 
the navy arrived on the scene in our smart auto. A few 
minutes later I saw the general, in his khaki, standing by 
Admiral Fletcher, who was in immaculate white on the 
Sanidad pier. 

Then began the wonderful march of six thousand blue- 
jackets and marines back to their ships. The men had 
had their precious baptism of fire. As ship's battalion 
after battalion passed, there was cheering, lifting of hats 
to the colors, and many eyes were wet. The men 
marched magnificently, with a great, ringing tread, and 
made a splendid showing. If the old Indian on the hill 
could have seen them he would have recognized all the 
might and majesty of our land and the bootlessness of 
any struggle. The passing of the troops and their 
embarkment took exactly thirty-seven minutes. They 
seemed to vanish away, to be dissolved into the sea, 
their natural element. For a moment only the har- 
bor looked like some old print of Nelsonian embark- 
ings — Trafalgar, the Nile, Copenhagen, I know not what ! 
The navy flowed out and the army flowed in. There were 
imtold cinematograph and photograph men, and the 
world will know the gallant sight. N. stood with 
Admiral Fletcher and General Funston. 

Sometimes, alone in Mexico City, with the whole re- 
sponsibility of the Embassy on his fehoulders, N. 
would be discouraged, and I, too, fearful of the ultimate 
end. Had I realized the might and magnificence of the 
navy represented in the nearest harbor, ready and able 
to back up our international undertakings and our na- 
tional dignity, I think I would never have had a mo- 
23 341 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

ment's despondency. I said something of this to Cap- 
tain Simpson, and he answered, "Yes, but remember you 
were in the woods." 

Admiral Busch took us back to the Minnesota, where 
we arrived in time to see the returned men drawn up 
on the decks to be inspected by Captain Simpson, 
who gave them a few warm, understanding words of 
commendation. Some were missing. Peace to them! 

Later. 

We went again on shore, leaving Nelson at the Carlos 
v., to return the call of the Spanish captain in Mexico 
City. I was so tired out with the sun and the long day 
that I stayed in the small boat. I simply had not the 
nervous energy to climb the gangway and go on board, 
though I would have Hked to see the ship. After the 
visit we went and sat under the portales of the Dili- 
gencias for an hour or so, to watch the busy scene. The 
ice-plant of the Diligencias was not yet in working order, 
so the usual dirty, lukewarm drinks were being served to 
disgusted patrons. In the Palacio Mtmicipal, the Second 
Infantry regiment was quartered, and under its portales 
they had put up their cook-stoves and were preparing 
their early evening meal, before going to their night- 
work on the outposts. Several dozen fat, sleek, well- 
dressed Mexicans were being shoved off at the point of 
three or four bayonets. I asked Ensign McNeir why it 
was, and he said: 

**0h, that is the bread-Hne. They can't be bothered 
with it now." The "bread-Hne," which at times 
probably includes one-third of the population of Vera 
Cruz, had evidently had good success at other points, 
and had been enjoying a workless, well-fed day; for its 
members had disposed themselves comfortably on bench 
or curb of the Plaza, and listened to the strains of the 

342 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

"Star-spangled Banner," *' Dixie, '* and "The Dollar 
Princess" — ^provided for their entertainment by the 
thoughtful, lavish invaders. Even the little flower-girls 
seemed to have on freshly starched petticoats; the 
bright-eyed newsboys had clean shirts, and the swarming 
bootblacks looked as spruce as their avocation per- 
mitted. A sort of millennium has come to the city; and 
money, too, will flow like water when pay-day comes 
for the troops. 

Richard Harding Davis came up to our table. His 
quick eye misses nothing. If there is anything dull to 
record of Vera Cruz, it won't be dull when it gets to the 
world through that vivid, beautiful prose of his. We 
teased him about his hat, telling him there had been 
many loud bands in town that day, marine bands, army 
bands, and navy bands, but nothing quite as loud as his 
blue-and-white polka-dot hat-band. We said he could 
be spotted at any distance. 

He answered, quite unabashed: "But isn't recogni- 
tion what is wanted in Mexico?" 

Jack London also came up to speak to us. Burnside, 
his hair closely cropped and his heart as warm as ever, 
sat with us during the many comings and goings of 
others. Captain Lansing, a very smart-looking officer, 
had recently been transferred from the pomp and circum- 
stance of Madrid, where he had been military attacMy to 
the jumping-off place of the world, Texas City. He said 
that after a year in the dust or mud and general flatness 
and staleness of that place. Vera Cruz seemed a gay 
paradise. Lieutenant Newbold, from Washington, and 
many others, were also presented. They all looked so 
strong, so sound, so eager. I think eagerness is the qual- 
ity I shall best remember of the men at Vera Cruz. 
Burnside walked back to the boat with us, the tropical 
night falling in that five minutes' walk. General Fun- 

343 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

ston's first official orders were already up with the formal 
notification of his authority : 

Headquarters United States Expeditionary Forces. 

Vera Cruz, April 30th, 1914, 

GENERAL ORDER No. i 

The undersigned, pursuant to instructions from the President of the 
United States, hereby assumes command of all the United States forces 
in this city. 

Frederick Funston, 
Brig. Gen. U. S. Army Commanding. 

Already in those short hours since the army *' flowed" 
in, the soldiers had installed themselves as though they 
had been there forever. In the dusk we saw their tents 
stretched, their bake-ovens up, and the smell of fresh 
bread was mingled with the warm sea odors. It was 
*' efficiency" indeed. 

May 3d. 

This morning the news that Mr. Bryan will not per- 
mit any fighting during the period of armistice and media- 
tion will dampen much of the eagerness I mentioned. 

The full complement of the blue- jackets being again 
on board, there is a lively soimd of ship-cleaning going on. 
Everything seemed immaculate before. We have been 
so comfortable, so cool, so well looked after in every way 
on this man-of-war. But I shall not soon forget the face 
of the young officer just home from outpost duty who 
discovered that my French maid was occupying his cabin ! 

Last night, as we sat talking on the deck, looking out 
over the jeweled harbor, the gentle, peaceful bugle-call 
to "taps" sounded suddenly from San Juan Ulua. 
A big Hght himg over the entrance to Captain Cham- 
berlain's quarters. It is balm on my soul that the pest- 
hole of centuries is open to the sim and light, the bolts 
hanging slack, and comparative peace and plenty every- 

344 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

where. I say comparative peace, because those impris- 
oned for murder and foul crimes are still to be dealt with. 
When I first visited the prison under the Mexican flag 
Captain McDougall and I asked the sentry who showed 
us around if there had been many executions lately. 

He answered, ''Since Thursday'' (this was Sunday) 
*'only by order of the colonel!" Whether this was true 
or not I don't know; but the guard gave it out with the 
air of one making an ordinary statement. Captain 
McDougall asked because, from the Mayflower, anchored 
almost where we now are, he had heard many a shot at 
night and in the early morning. 

Immediately after dinner we had gone up on deck. A 
delicious breeze was turning and twisting through the 
soft, thick, tropical night. Every night a large screen is 
put up on the after part of the ship, and the officers and 
crew gather to watch the ** movies," seating themselves 
without distinction of rank. The turrets are garlanded 
with men ; even the tops of the mast had their human dec- 
orations. It was most refreshing, after the hot, historic 
day, to sit quietly on the cool, dim deck and watch the old 
tales of love, burglars, kidnapping, and kindred recitals 
unroll themselves from the films. But it was more 
beautiful later on, as we sat quietly on the deck in the 
darkness, watching the wondrous scene about us. A 
thousand lights were flashing across the water, catching 
each dark ripple. The ''city of ships," as I call Vera 
Cruz harbor, is constantly throwing its flash-lights, its 
semaphores, its signalings of all kinds, and water and 
sky reflect them a hundredfold. 

Just after the peaceful sounding of *'Taps" from the 
fortress, Admiral Fletcher and Captain Huse came on 
board to pay us a farewell visit. Admiral Fletcher's 
courtesy is always of the most delicate kind, coming 
from the depths of his kind heart and his broad under- 

345 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

standing of men and life. He and N. walked up and 
down the deck for a while, planning about our getting 
off. He intends that the charge shall depart from Mexi- 
can waters with all fitting dignity. After a warm hand- 
clasp he and Captain Huse went off over the summer 
sea. Standing at the rail, we watched the barge disappear 
into a wondrous marquetry design of darkness and light, 
and knew that some things would never be again. 

Later we got the inclosed radio from the Arkansas y 
Admiral Badger's flag-ship, to say the Yankton would be 
put at our disposal on the morrow to take us to our 
native shores, and so will the story end. I" am homesick 
for my beautiful plateau and the vibrant, multicolored life 
I have been leading. Adelantef But I have Httle taste 
for dinners, teas, and the usual train-train, though a few 
expeditions to dress-makers and milliners will be profit- 
able to me as well as to them. As you know, I had no 
time to have my personal things packed at the Embassy, 
and what I did bring with me reposed for twenty-four 
hours on the sand-dunes at Tejeria, between the Mexican 
lines and ours. My big yellow trunk is reported at the 
Terminal station. What is left in it will be revealed 
later. They may not call it war in Washington, but when 
a woman loses her wardrobe she finds it difficult to call 
it peace. N.'s famous collection of boots, forty or fifty 
pairs, evidently left those sand-dunes on Aztec or mestizo 
feet. My silver foxes and other furs I don't worry about. 
Under that blistering sky and on that hot, cutting sand 
they could offer no temptations. 

Joe Patterson has just been on board. He came down 
with the army on the transport Hancock, sui generis, as 
usual, his big body dressed in the loosest of tan coverings. 
He is always electric and interesting, nmning with a 
practised touch over many subjects. He said he wanted 
not an interview with N. for his newspaper (which 

346 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

would finish N. *'dead'0» but to make some account 
that would interest the public and not get him (N.) into 
trouble. I shall be interested to see what he does. The 
boresome news of the armistice has made him feel that 
he wants to get back, and I darp say there will be many 
a departure. Nelson will not allow himself to be inter- 
viewed by a soul. It is impossible to please everybody, 
but, oh, how easy it is to displease everybody! 



XXVI 

Homeward bound — Dead to the world in Sarah Bernhardt*s luxurious 
cabin — Admiral Badger's farewell — "The Father of Waters" — Mr. 
Bryan's earnest message — Arrival at Washington — Adelantel 

Sunday J May 3d. 

I AM writing in the depths of my cabin on the yacht 
Yankton, which is carrying us to New Orleans as the 
crow flies — a special trip for the purpose. In another 
walk of life the Yankton was known as La CUopatrey and 
belonged to Sarah Bernhardt. Now I, much the worse 
for wear, occupy her cabin. She has never brought a 
representative of the United States from the scene of 
war before, but she is Admiral Badger's special ship, 
carries mails, special travelers, etc., and went around 
the world with the fleet. The fleet met a typhoon, and 
all were alarmed for the safety of the Yankton, which 
emerged from the experience the least damaged of any ship. 
I can testify that she rides the waves and that she even 
jumps them. Admiral B. says that in harbor he uses 
her chiefly for court-martials. Now I am here. Life is a 
jumble, is it not? 

At five o'clock, on Friday, May ist, we said good-by 
to dear Captain Simpson and all the luxurious hospitality 
of the Minnesota, Commander Moody and the officers of 
the day wishing us ** Godspeed." Just as we were leav- 
ing Captain Simpson told us that he had been signaled 
to send five hundred rations to San Juan Ulua. As we 
pushed off across the water, accompanied by Ensign 
Crisp, the boat officer of the day, great patches of khaki 

348 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

colored the shores of the town. They were squads of 
our men, their tents and paraphernalia, the color coming 
out strong against Vera Cruz, which had an unwonted 
grayish tone that afternoon. The Yankton was lying in 
the outer harbor, surrounded by battle-ships, dread- 
noughts, and torpedo-boats — a mighty showing, a 
circle of iron around that artery of beautiful, gasping 
Mexico. It was about quarter before six when we reached 
the Yankton, As I looked about I seemed to be in a 
strange, gray city of battle-ships. Shortly afterward 
Admiral Badger put out from his flag-ship, the Arkansas, 
to say good-by to us. He came on board, greeting us 
in his quick, masterful way. Such power has rarely 
been seen under one man as that huge fleet repre- 
sented in Vera Cruz harbor, and the man commanding 
it is fully equal to the task; he is alert, with piercing 
blue eyes, very light hair gone white, and a clean, fresh 
complexion — the typical mariner in a high place. I 
think he feels entirely capable of going up and down 
the coast and taking all and everything, even the 
dreaded Tampico, with its manifest dangers of oil, fire, 
disease, and all catastrophes that water can bring. 
He spoke of the thirty thousand Americans who have 
already appeared at our ports, driven from their com- 
fortable homes, now destitute, and who can't return to 
Mexico until we have made it possible. ... I imagine 
he strains at the leash. He loves it all, too, and it was 
with a deep sigh that he said, ''Unfortunately, in little 
more than a month my time is up." But all endings are 
sad. Great bands of sunset red were suddenly stamped 
across the sky as he went away, waving us more good 
wishes. 

Captain Joyce, who had gone into town to get us some 
special kind of health certificate to obviate any quar- 
antine difficulties, came on board a little later, and soon 

349 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

after his return we were under way. The quick, tropical 
night began to fall. What had been a circle of iron by 
day was a huge girdle of light pressing against Mexico, 
as potent under the stars as under the sun. My heart 
was very sad. ... I had witnessed a people's agony and 
I had said an irrevocable farewell to a fascinating phase 
of my own life, and to a country whose charm I have 
felt profoundly. Since then I have been dead to the 
world, scribbling these words with limp fingers on a 
damp bit of paper. This jaunty yacht is like a cockle- 
shell on the shining waters. Admiral Fletcher and Ad- 
miral Cradock sent wireless messages, which are lying 
in a comer, crumpled up, like everything else. 

I said to Elim, lying near by in his own little sack- 
cloth and ashes, *' Yacht me no yachts," and he answered, 
**No yachts for me.*' Later, recovered enough to make 
a little joke, he said he was going to give me one for a 
Christmas present. 

I said, "I will sell it." 

He answered, "No, sink it. If we sell it dey'll invite 
us — dey always do." He looked up later, with a moan, 
to say, faintly, "I would rather have a big cramp dan 
dis horriblest feeling in de world." 

This is, indeed, noblesse oblige! I have suffered some- 
what, perhaps gloriously, for la patria, and I suppose I 
ought to be willing to enact this final scene without be- 
wailings; but I have been buried to the world, and the 
divine Sarah's cabin is my coffin. If such discomfort 
can exist where there is every modem convenience of 
limitless ice, electric fans, the freshest and best of 
food, what must have been the sufferings of people 
in sailing-ships, delayed by northers or calms, with 
never a cold drink? I envelop them all in boundless 
sympathy, from Cort6s to Madame Calderon de la 
Barca. 

3SO 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

U. S. S. " YankUm:' May 4th. 3.30. 

Awhile ago I staggered up the hatchway, a pale 
creature in damp white Hnen, to once more behold the 
sky, after three cribbed and cabined days. A pilot's 
boat was rapidly approaching us on the nastiest, yellow- 
est, forlomest sea imaginable. I felt that I could no 
longer endure the various sensations animating my body, 
not even an instant longer. Then, suddenly, it seemed 
we were in the southwest passage of the great delta, 
out of that unspeakable roll, passing up the ''Father of 
Waters" — the abomination of desolation. Even the 
gulls looked sad, and a bell-buoy was ringing a sort of 
death-knell. Uniformly built houses were scattered at 
intervals on the monotonous flat shores, where the only 
thing that grows is tall, rank grass — whether out of 
land or water it is impossible to say. These are the 
dwellings of those lonely ones who work on the levees, 
the wireless and coaling stations, dredging and "redeem- 
ing" this seemingly ungratefid land, stretching out 
through its flat, endless, desolate miles. 

The water is yellower than the Tiber at its yellowest, 
and no mantle of high and ancient civilization lends it an 
enchantment. The pilot brought damp piles of papers 
on board, but I can't bear to read of Mexican matters. 
Whether Carranza refuses flatly our request to discon- 
tinue fighting during the mediation proceedings, or a 
hasty New York editor calls Villa **the Stonewall Jack- 
son of Mexico," it is only more of the same. My heart 
and mind know it all too well. 

I have a deep nostalgia for Mexico; even for its blood- 
red color. Everything else the world can ofiEer will seem 
drab beside the memory of its strange magic. 

A radio came from Mr. Bryan at six this morning 
requesting N. to observe silence until he has con- 
ferred in Washington. But N. had already made up his 

351 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

mind that silentium would be his sign and symbol. Un- 
less we get in at the merciful hour of dawn he will be 
besieged by reporters. A word too much just now could 
endlessly complicate matters for Washington. 

We are slipping up broad, mournful, lake-like ex- 
panses of water. From time to time a great split comes, 
and it seems as if we had met another river, seeking an- 
other outlet. More white and gray houses show them- 
selves against the tall, pale-green, persistent grasses and 
the yellow of the river. They are lonely, isolated homes, 
wherein each family earns its bread in the sweat of its 
brow by some kind of attendance on the exacting ' ' Father 
of Waters" — mostly, trying to control him. 

6.45 P.M. 

We have just slipped through quarantine like a fish. 
Our own extraordinary orders and two or three tele- 
grams from Washington, with orders not to hold us up, 
made it an easy matter. We saw the Monterey, which 
had arrived in the morning, with six hundred and twenty- 
three passengers aboard, moored at the dock. The 
women and children were to sleep in screened tents on 
land. Many of them were refugees from Mexico City 
itself, and they cheered and waved, as we passed by, 
and called ''O'Shaughnessy! O'Shaughnessy!'* 

The refugees, according to the copy of the Picayune 
the health officers left us, are loud in praise of Carden, 
saying their escape is due to him and not to the State 
Department, and giving incidental cheers for Roosevelt. 
Dr. Corput is a martinet; but though he was hot and 
decidedly wilted about the collar when his six-foot-two 
person came into the saloon where we were dining, he 
looked highly ccmipetent. It will be a bright microbe 
that gets by him. He, with his yellow flag, is lord and 
master of every craft and everything that breasts this 
river. 

352 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

The whole question of guarding the health of the 
United States at this station is most interesting. It is 
one of the largest in the world, but is taxed to its utmost 
now by the thousands of refugees from Mexico, most of 
them cursing the administration, as far as I can gather, 
during the htmdred and forty-five hours of travel since 
leaving Mexico. The quarantine station itself, imder 
the red, late afternoon sun, looked a clean, attractive 
village, supplemented by rows of tents. There are im- 
mense sterilizers in which the whole equipment of a 
ship can be put, huge inspection-rooms, great bathing- 
houses, and a small herd of cattle. It is sufficient to 
itself. Nothing can get at the inmates, nor can the in- 
mates, on the other hand, get at anything. I should 
say that the wear and tear of existence would be 
materially lessened during the one hundred and forty- 
five hours. The great ships that pass up now are 
laden with people who have been exposed to every 
imaginable disease in the Mexican dMcle. You re- 
member the small-pox outbreak in Rome, and how 
that microbe was encouraged! Well, autre pays, autre 
mceurs. The Indian, however, thinks very little more 
of having small-pox than we think of a bad cold in the 
head. 

10 P.M. 

We have been going up-stream very quietly, in this 
dark, soft night, zigzagging up its mighty length to 
avoid the current. Sometimes we were so near the 
shores we could almost touch the ghostly willow-trees; 
while mournful, suppressed night noises fell upon our 
ears. The mosquitoes are about the size of flies — not 
the singing variety, but the quiet, biteful kind. My 
energies are needed to keep them off, so good night; all 
is quiet along the Mississippi. We have ninety miles from 
quarantine to New Orleans. 

353 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

May 5 th. 
In the train ^ going through Georgia and North Carolina. 

We got into New Orleans yesterday at 6.30 a.m., 
under a blazing sun. There were reporters and photogra- 
phers galore at the dock to meet us and the good ship 
Yankton. They did not, however, get fat on what they 
got from N., who refused to discuss the Mexican situ- 
ation in any way. But we did lend ourselves to the 
camera. We were photographed on the ship, on the 
blazing pier, in the noisy streets, near by, among a horror 
of trucks and drays rattling over huge cobblestones, 
and a few more terrors in ink will be broadcast. I 
then went to the nearest good shop and got a black 
taffeta gown (a Paquin model with low, white-tulle neck), 
and began to feel quite human again. Then we motored 
about for several hours with one of the ofiScers, through 
a city of beautiful homes, interesting old French and 
foreign quarters, driving at last over a magnificent cause- 
way. On one side was a swamp filled by all sorts of 
tropical vegetation, and, doubtless, inhabited by wet, 
creeping things; on the other side, a broad canal. We 
reached a placQ called West End, on Lake Pontchar- 
train, where we lunched on shrimps, soft-shelled crabs, 
and broiled chicken, quite up to the culinary reputation 
of New Orleans. Afterward we went back to the boat 
under a relentless afternoon sun and over more of those 
unforgetable cobblestones. 

I was completely done up. They were coaling as we 
got back to the ship, but the sailors hastily shoveled a 
way for me, and I threw myself on my bed in a state of 
complete exhaustion. When I came on deck again at 
5.30 the hideous coaling was done, the decks were washed, 
and everything was in apple-pie order. Crowds were 
again on the pier, and the photographers got in more work. 
The golden figure of Cleopatra that decorates the prow 

354 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

was blood-red in the afternoon sun. At six we started 
out with Captain Joyce, who had literally "stood on 
the burning deck" all day, overseeing the coaling process. 
We wanted to show him a little of the city in the sudden, 
beautiful, bahn-like gloaming. We stopped a moment 
at the St. Charles, where I mailed my long Yankton let- 
ter, and foimd it overflowing with Americans from 
Mexico, with smiles or frowns upon their faces, ac- 
cording as they were going to or leaving a bank ac- 
count. We then went to Antoine's, which has been 
celebrated for seventy-five years. There we had a per- 
fect dinner, preceded by a mysterious and delightful 
appetizer, called a " pink angel," or some such name, most 
soothing in effect. (It proved to be made of the for- 
bidden absinthe.) Also there were oysters, roasted in 
some dainty way, chicken okra, soft-shelled crabs again, 
and frozen stuffed tomatoes. 

New Orleans still retains a certain Old World flavor 
and picturesqueness. One might even dream here. 
Everything is not sacrificed at the altar of what is 
called efficiency — that famous American word which 
everywhere hits the returning native. 

Some of the newspapers were quite amusing, and all 
were complimentary. One congratulates N. on being 
relieved "from the daily task of deHvering ultimatimis 
to, and being hugged by, Huerta." Others are very 
anxious to know if "Vic Huerta" kissed and embraced 
Mr. O'Shaughnessy on his departure. The abrazo is 
certainly not in form or favor in the more reticent United 
States of America. 

Richmond Hotd, Washington, D. C. 
We got in at seven o'clock, and, accompanied by the 
usual press contingent, came to this hotel. The propri- 
etor had telegraphed to us to New Orleans, saying that 
N. was the greatest diplomat of the century, American 

355 



A DIPLOMAT'S WIFE IN MEXICO 

patriot, and hero. We thought we'd try him, he sounded 
so very pleasant, and we have found comfortable 
quarters. Now, while waiting breakfast, ordered from 
a Portuguese, I have these few minutes. 

An amusing letter from Richard Harding Davis is 
here, inclosing newspaper headlines two and a half inches 
high — "O'Shaughnessy Safe." He adds, ''Any man 
who gets his name in type this size should be satisfied 
that republics are not tmgrateftil!" 

A pile of letters and notes awaits me; the telephone 
has begun to ring. How will the Washington page 
write itself? Adelante! 



THE END 









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